Tag Archives: accepting brokenness leads to more relaxed living

Mothering is Not Easy, but it is Good

Remember how easy it was to run to Mommy when you were hurt or in pain? Needing was natural then.

“Admitting the problem is half of the healing.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Why is it so hard for us to do? Especially if we know how much it helps us?

I think, because we have all been hurt, we are in self-protective mode. We try to shunt responsibility elsewhere. For instance, I always think all the dirt in my house comes from my husband. I don’t even question it! Well, lately I had a humorous and painful thought. When he dies, I might be surprised at how much dirt is still here–and then I’ll have to admit that it’s me.

When you admit responsibility you have to do something. You have to look at yourself–admit you fail, admit you aren’t perfect, admit you are vulnerable.

Or, you get to do something! People who can’t admit they are wrong strain the relationships they are in, putting pressure on the people around them–the ones closest, including yourself.

We think admitting fault or weakness makes us less. Makes us look bad. Or this one–makes us vulnerable.  We don’t like to feel vulnerable –it scares us. We think we have to protect ourselves. What a silly notion. As if we really could! Most of our attempts make things worse–including us. It hardens our response ability into defensiveness (fear), instead of the free-flow of creative thought where solutions or new ideas come from. Defensiveness keeps us from growing. It makes those around us uncomfortable, and sometimes feel hopeless.

Welcoming a new perspective helps. Brene Brown has researched vulnerability for years and has found it to be  the most healthy attitude a person can have: knowing that you aren’t perfect, can make mistakes, and admit it.

Today I am so proud of my daughter for admitting she has post-partum depression! She has already started to feel better three days later! Yes, it can respond that fast. (And for any of you who are fighting depression, research has shown that 1000-4000 mg. of Omega 3/daily, and half as much of 6 and 9, is more effective than anti-depressants, as is exercise, and sunlight, or vitamin D if you have no sun, and in her case iron because of blood loss from birthing).

We knew she was suffering from sleep deprivation, and I noticed she looked like she did when she was depressed after her last son, but she wasn’t into the vulnerable place of being helped yet then. Her main coping mechanism has been to do it herself, take care of everything, be perfect.

In fact she confronted me on being judgmental about her technology. That wasn’t how I saw it, but man, did it hurt. There was just enough truth and just enough misunderstanding to really make it sting.

I didn’t know what to say, but when it hurts that bad, you have two choices: go into defensive mode or pray. So I breathed, and said to God, I don’t even know what to say. We were with her husband and mine, and someone said something, and I heard myself saying, “I just know that looking at yourself is really hard. It’s so painful that you can barely see yourself with any clarity.”

That broke the tension and everyone became more vulnerable. Everyone started sharing, and we even ended up praying together. It ended up making our last day much better.

A real big-picture perspective would show us how futile are our attempts at self-protection. With what we are up against–living in the war zone between good and evil–we regularly get slammed with discouragement and pain, and what fun the dark side has with our pretending to be good and right. They help us make big messes with denial and self-protection.

How much better to let God protect us, so we are free to be real: broken and vulnerable, not hiding, not defensive. Able to hurt, to need help, to be wrong–to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is good, healthy even.

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Filed under depression, Health, Love ed, Mental Health, Mistakes can be a matter of perspective, mothering, Parenting

Brokenness

Why did I react like that? I wailed to God after saying “You’re such a pain!” to my 10 year-old grandson. I just blew it again, and I so want to be this loving grandma I see in my head.

And God is so sweet. He showed me the good side of our relationship. Who else runs to you every time you’ve been apart, gives you a hug, and says, “I love you Grandma.”

I had to admit it, They are all sweet and loving, but nobody shows it or expresses it as much as Wade. So are You saying that the closeness brings out the worst as well as the best? I guess that makes sense–we risk most where we are the most comfortable. I felt relieved and went to sleep.

Visiting my children often makes me aware of the jagged pieces of my brokenness that still catch on the words or actions of others. I hate it! The wounding from what others say or do. The reactions that hurt others. I hate seeing it!

Or do I?

I’m beginning to see that brokenness is one of the most important concepts we can “get.” It keeps us from discouragement. How?

If you accept that you are broken, you aren’t expecting perfection from yourself.  You are less embarrassed when you blow it, quicker to own it, and quicker to ask forgiveness. That is huge!

You aren’t as apt to hide, holding up your mask (your persona) and hoping no one sees around it. So you are more likely to be real, transparent, and relaxed. Relaxed people are easier to be around. They help others relax.

Relaxed people laugh more, enjoy more, are more efficient, have more great ideas, and generally are nicer to other people. They aren’t just trying to get things done; they are savoring the moments.

Relaxed people are usually more forgiving of others mistakes, because they aren’t cranked so tight that every minute has to come off according to their plan–human doings, I call them.

Relaxed people aren’t afraid they are missing something, or that something is going to go wrong, or that their kids will surely screw up if they aren’t there to stop it or bail them out.

I think it’s what Jesus’ disciples preached, “You are sinners, in need of grace.”

I never liked that message, it made me feel worthless when I needed to feel loved. But I see now that when you are trying to walk close to God, you can so easily become discouraged with your performance. And then it is a great comfort to know that you are just broken.

It’s the way it is. You are never going to be perfect. Not here, not now.

You have two natures. You can minimize damage by staying close to God and you will get more like Him, but you will still be a mistake maker–the weakness of humanity is a given. And when you see it in yourself, don’t despair or give in to self-loathing.

Get up, admit it, accept forgiveness, and keep on walking in God’s love. You can’t make a mistake so great that He wouldn’t love you.

You couldn’t even commit a sin that would cancel His love for you. (Sin and mistakes being different.)

But for heaven’s sake, don’t let your mistakes turn into sin–anything that comes between you and God. The definition of sin is living outside of love–saying “No thank-you” to God when He comes asking you to believe that He loves you, asking for a relationship.

He’s let you down? HE has?

Accepting brokenness helps that too. All of our brokenness muddles together to make such a porridge of blah and hurt, why would we ever expect life to be perfect? There is such a miasma arising from our actions, it’s like the world is enveloped in the smog of China. It’s amazing any of God’s goodness and blessings shine through!

We can help by choosing to own our hurt both in-coming and out-going.

So since my brokenness showed the morning I left, I texted Wade when I got home, “I’m sorry I said you were a pain this morning. I love you.”

And he replied, “Love you too!!!”

The miasma lifted. I felt God’s love shine through a ten-year-old’s forgiveness.

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Filed under Becoming real, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, Uncategorized