Friday, April 24, 2009

Always "Shake it up!"

Well dance all night get real loose
You don't need no bad excuse
Dance all night with anyone
Don't let nobody pick your fun
Shake it up, oo-oo
Shake it up, yeah yeah
Shake it up, oo-oo
Shake it up

Shake it up, make a scene
Let them know what you really mean
And dance all night keep the beat
Don't ya worry bout two left feet

That was one of my favorite songs about 25 years ago. The other day on the radio the boys and I heard "It's Magic" by the Cars. Since becoming a mother I feel like my life is a testament to shaking things up and living the magic. But I feel good about the fact that I am not in your face about my choices. I don't expect people to "get" what we are doing with our lives. All that matters to me is that we live our lives in a way that feels right for us.

However, I think a lot of people worry about what people think and try not to rock the boat. And people forget about things that really matter. Things we wish we'd have done differently when we are at the end of our lives are things that matter. When children/adults are lost to drugs or alcohol, we wonder what we could have done differently. There are run-a-ways, homeless, and all sorts of other things that matter, too. It seems like there are many people out there who feel like they know all the answers. I don't believe I know all the answers. But I do know that making life miserable or unbearable for children in any way is something we should all realize is something that should not be tolerated.

When children are unhappy or expected to live in stressful conditions, we need to realize that they will most likely grow up to have anxiety, depression, anger, and/or rebellion issues. Instead of believing they are defective we need to realize our society has too many defects which cause these issues to arise. I majored in counseling psychology and then human services in college. Emotions and human behaviors have always fascinated me. What amazes me the most is that so many people don't realize how much they hated the way they were treated as children, and they do the same thing to their own children. I know I am guilty of doing some things that I am not proud of. Some habits are hard to brake. I am a work in progress, for sure.

My mother passed away over four years ago and she had all of the above issues to the extreme. Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot anyone could do for her. When she died I was very sad, but also eventually relieved that her living hell was over. Looking back at all the letters I wrote her (which she kept and I now have) I did a good job of accepting her for who she was, despite the fact that she was not the mother I needed her to be.

I've had my fair share of "issues." Thankfully by trying to find a path to sanity and happiness, I have overcome a lot of my "issues." I can spot a tormented person from a mile away. I am still tormented at times, but not as much as I was as a child. Although, I talked and prayed to God all the time I felt very powerless, frustrated, withdrawn at times, and alone so much as a child. I always had friends, too. But I think the hardest was not having parents who really understood me or what my life was like. I am grateful for all the wonderful people who helped me along in my dark days and to a much happier path. I spent a lot of years doing what everyone else wanted me to do. And the past 5 years, I feel I am doing just the opposite.

Much of my time since being at home with my children over 7 years ago has been spent researching ways to be a better parent and caring wife. My research takes place through books, the internet, observing my own behaviors, and the behaviors of others. I want my kids to grow up healthy, happy, secure, and loved. I'm very grateful have the freedom to choose to parent in ways that will foster people who can give love back to the world because of all the love they have been given. Of course, I am not exactly where I want to be all the time in these beliefs. But I try to realize I am getting there, little by little.

I never want my children to feel like I did as a child. I think that is why it is so easy for me to buck the system of false beliefs out there. I don't want any children to feel powerless or angry. That is the number one reason there are rapists out there and murderers. They grow up and have so much anger that they just want to kill someone. And that can sometimes be the very people who caused the anger and frustration in the first place. I am not condoning these murders or rapists. But I believe they can be prevented by acting out of love toward our children and not control and fear.

I am really looking forward to shaking up more of my beliefs, and the beliefs that are holding me and my family back. A lot is coming down the pike this summer....

Lots of love,

P.S. These are photos I took last year of my beauties. We love shaking our stuff all over the place.


Holly said...

Life is quite a journey. Sometimes exhilarating and sometimes sorrowful, but always a learning experience.

I was just reading a book by David Albert, and he was saying how research shows that people who are able to control their internal dialog and reframe situations in various ways tend to be happier.

I think that's something I would like to give my kids, and that's hard when they are getting so many messages. I hope I can help them learn to sort through the barrage of voices and find their own.

I'm interested in seeing where things take you this summer. Whatever can you mean???

Heather's Moving Castle said...

Some of the things coming down the pike: I have some high hopes for some personal changes and attitudes this summer...inner workings in our family that aren't broken, but could be better. We have fallen into some patterns which are holding us back in ways which would not bother some; but they bother me. Nothing too serious. Just excited for the chance for more inner growth.

Snavleys said...

Ironic that I just got home, with a heavy heart, and started reading your blog. I went walking at the local highschool track and two of the gals that joined us were talking about how they use a belt and spoons to get their kids to obey. I made a few bold comments and had to leave because I felt like crying. I hate to judge people on their choices, it just makes me sad. And you are so right, there are so many things those children will have to deal with as they grow. I want my kids definitely to feel loved and secure and I don't want them to ever feel like they are "bad", like kids purposely do "naughty" things.