There are times when it's so easy to get caught up in all that needs fixing! I start to do that, then remember that I don't have to fix everything that goes wrong. In fact, I can't, whether I'm thinking of what goes wrong in one crazy evening at home or in public education or this coming presidency.
In our homes--stuff is going to happen. Kids will be upset, get overwhelmed by their emotions, act out, feel worried and sad, avoid talking about what's wrong, refuse to eat a perfectly good dinner (even though they like it), be defiant or sneaky, be worryingly eager-to-please, get sick, and so much more.
The role of the wise parent is to show up. To do what is in our power. To listen to the angry child with love even when they aren't at their most lovable. To be steady for the worrying child. To eat our own perfectly good dinner. To love these messy, imperfect beings as they truly are, not as we want them to be. To take care of our own feelings and forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make.
And when we think of what's going on in the wider world, our work is similar. As citizens, our role is to show up. Let's stay awake and alert, even when what is happening is uncomfortable. Let's respond wisely instead of reactively. Let's take good care of ourselves and each other. Instead of adding our voices to the drama of the times, let's be steady, clear, and aware of our true power.
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.