Yesterday, I wrote about what I see, living here in this moment, in this country, on this Earth. The racial discrimination, the injustice, the violence. There is so much going on that is heartbreaking and just wrong. At the same time, and it scares me to write about this as much as it scared me to write yesterday's post, I can see much that is going well.
I see people every day who blame the victims, minimize racial problems, bury their heads in the sand, and I also see many people who are waking up and caring and confronting the racism in their own hearts and choices and world. I believe that as a world, as a culture, as a country, our hearts are opening. Not everyone's, I know, Not quickly, I know. But the conversations and movements happening now are powerful and hopeful and even inspiring.
It's the same in my family. I see things that have gone badly wrong in myself as a mom, in my husband, in our kids, in our bigger families, our house, our finances, our decisions--there's an endless list of things I see that have gone wrong (maybe that's my Virgo rising!). Nothing as absolutely horrific as the racism and violence in our culture, or environmental destruction in our natural world, or the economic inequity that underlies so much injustice, but plenty that resonates with those huge horrors.
In my family I can see that I'm a lousy mom and a wonderful mom. I can see how I've overreacted, tried to control, criticized, and missed things I wish I had seen. I can see also how I've come back again and again to love. I can see how I've accepted the true nature of my boys even as I've struggled with my own conditioning and habits. I can see how much I've learned and how I've been able to let truth and love crack me open again and again.
I don't want to narrow my perception so that I only see the 'good' or 'bad' in myself or my kids or the world. I want to keep my eyes wide open and see things as they truly are with an open, non-judging heart. Focusing only on the negative in the world, my family, and my own self throws me into disempowered despair. Ignoring the darkness leaves me uninformed, smug, disconnected and therefore less able to grow and change. Seeing things as they are--as much as I can-- and with acceptance, I can be a force of loving presence and constructive change.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.