When Life Becomes Bigger Than You
I have always hated when people say, “Life is not all about you.” I do not agree with that because, yes, it is. Who else would my life be about? It is my life. I am the lead role in my story. We were each given one life of our own. I have one and you have one. I’ll live mine for me, and you are free to live yours for you. We will all have a life lived all about us. After all, if you do not live your life for yourself, no one will live a life for you. I never saw this as selfish but just how it was meant to be.
Then I became a mom.
I still hold on to things that are for me. I make sure I prioritize things that make me happy and fight for things that are important to me. But once in a while, I realize it is not all about me anymore. It has become about a tiny human with his mama’s blue eyes and dad’s cleft chin.
When someone challenges something I believe in or value, my initial reaction is to fight. In fight or flight, I am all fight all the time. “Pick you battles“ is something I say but usually, I pick them all. So when something in my life, especially my mom-life, is challenged, I want to lead a deadly crusade in defense of myself to the point of burning the entire world around me. I get blinded by my pride and my righteous indignation to the point that I do not see the casualties in my wake.
As a mom, however, that world that I am all too willing to lay in ruin belongs to my son. It is my job to shape the world around him and make it better for him than it is for me. It is my job to teach him to leave the world better than he found it and I cannot do that if I am willing to pull the entire thing down around both of us.
It is also my job to teach my son to fight for what he believes in and stand up for what is important to him. But it is not realistic to fight that way for everything. You will end up burned out, and alone, having pushed away everyone in your life.
Usually, I’ll be damned if someone is going to tell me what to do and don’t you DARE tell me how to parent my child. I want to scream, stomp my feet, and throw things just to let the world know that I have been wronged and that I am unhappy. I want to set fire to the the bridge and never look back. But it is not fair to my child if I burn bridges that he may one day need to cross. It is not fair that I fill his life with turmoil for the sake of my own pride. Some things, perhaps, are that important, but I am realizing just how few things actually warrant a battle.
This realization is a huge step in my life. I am an Aries, through and through; hot headed, impulsive, childish when I do not get my way, and, yes, self-centered. My husband constantly reminds me that none of these characteristics are inherently bad. In fact, most of them are things he has always admired about me – my independence, my determination – but they can quickly become misguided and hurt more than they help.
Being a mother is showing me that most things are bigger than myself and my pride. It is teaching me that a few deep breaths and a little time for reflection can save everyone a lot of unnecessary strife. Dare I say, being a mom is teaching me patience.
How can it not when I’ve got this beautiful little face always watching me, copying me, and learning from me?