Today’s words of encouragement comes with the “kicked in the kahunas” kind of feeling!
I spent most of this past weekend feeling the exact opposite of Acceptance. This seems to be an ongoing lesson in my life, with new events regularly evolving in order to allow me to continue learning.
To start with a little background, from the time my son was old enough to walk, until he was too old to enjoy it, we would take one week every year for a “Man Trip” which ranged from camping, to traveling to different places. Renting an airplane and flying to an airport 15 minutes away and spend hours playing football (off the airstrip, of course) & talking. I found airports that were only 15 minutes away because he never has liked long trips, so I’d keep them short enough that he might not complain. Heck, he is still the only person I’ve ever spent the night with at a Bed and Breakfast. We were scolded for wrestling in the room… My goal has always been for us to be very close.
In 2007 I moved to Wisconsin for a job and the plan was for the family to move. A few months into it, the divorce proceedings began and I was four states away from him. I spent the next year in fear of never being able to do things with him and every week, traveled to Michigan after work Friday to spend Saturday 10:00 am until Sunday 8:00 pm with him. I would drive back to Wisconsin in time for work Monday morning. Breaks me all over again to write about it! I stepped down to a lesser position and moved back to Michigan in 2008 and starting a yearlong battle for 50% custody, which through a miracle I was granted (truly amazing story that I hope I find an avenue to share here sometime).
My son will be 18 years old in April and he has decided he wants to live full time at his mother’s house at that time. As any decent parent who’s felt that special gratitude to be trusted to assist in raising one of God’s children, I’ve spent the past 18 years doing what I honestly believe to be the best I’m able to; love him, be close with him and to make sure he has the tools to face life. Very similar to the model I grew up with, I’ve taken on the role of the tougher, stricter parent. But at the same time, I’ve been the wrestling, game playing, hockey coaching, jokester who spent every morning I’ve had him, trying to make him laugh before school.
So now, I’m faced with the decision on what to do with all the feelings that come up with this conversation. The feelings of rejection, anger, poor me and if I’m going to be rigorously honest, ‘The Victim’. All the studies I’ve been through, it seems like I should instantly kick into remembering that ‘nothing is good, nor bad’ and ‘everything that happens to me is for my benefit/growth’ or I could remember ‘I am complete and whole, regardless of and/all outside influences’. I didn’t remember any of these until over the past several hours. I did spend Friday night, all of Saturday and most of Sunday feeling hurt, angry, resentful and sorry for myself.
Around 3:00 am Monday morning, I started to remember… As soon as I was tired of feeling the way I was, the moment I hurt enough to relinquish control of the world being MY WAY, I asked for help. Somewhere deep inside of my chest area was a feeling with the words, “It’s OK. It’s OK EXACTLY as it is”. “Life is changing, and it isn’t good or bad. It just is” This morning that feeling is growing into realizing I’ve done a great job teaching him how to be a man! He didn’t run to his mom to tell me, or find some way to cause me pushing him away. He looked me straight in the face and told me what he wanted, or needed. I’ve said all along that I feel like he teaches me way more than I do him. I so much look up to him for the person he is today!
Looking forward to receiving your words of wisdom comments!