Being someone who practices Mindfulness, I think everyone expects me to be ‘zen’ all the time. I promise you I’m not! There are times when I really have to work hard at it, and other times I just completely forget… especially if I’m woken up by noisy teenagers in the night.
Mine are no longer little, they are 16 and 14. My younger boy lives with his Dad and my eldest, with me. My eldest is agoraphobic and doesn’t leave the house very often. He works on a Saturday at my friends café and absolutely loves that, but he has to get a taxi there and a lift back. Routine can’t be changed or it throws him off.
It makes it even harder that his Dad isn’t very supportive. Very much stuck in his ways, and despises me beyond measure. In my Blogs and videos I talk about forgiveness a lot. Their Dad was one of the first people I needed to forgive. Not for him, he has no clue. For myself. It’s bad for your soul to hang on to ill feelings.
The problem I have now, is that I’ve forgiven him, I have compassion for the fact that I know he is the way he is because of his history, however… When he basically calls me stupid and incapable to my sons and upsets them – more specifically my eldest son, my youngest son seems to be immune to it – it creates a larger gap between them. He has no clue that he’s damaging their relationship every time he does it.
Thank goodness that anger was one of the first emotions I learnt to deal with when I started practicing mindfulness. Had this happened a few years ago, I would have lost my shit and either sent some unrepeatable texts or paid a visit and made a show of myself. Thankfully, this is now, I am me and I am a better person than I was back then.
It just cements the point that mindfulness enriches your relationships by stopping you from doing the crazy damaging things that can happen when your emotions take over. I know I’m a much better parent than I was, I have a very close bond with my sons. Closer to my eldest (sadly due to the fact my youngest lives with his Dad, it makes it harder to be as close to him) although not everyone agrees with my parenting style.
One thing I do know is that they tell me whatever is on their mind because I always come from a place of compassion, kindness and non-judgement. I won’t ‘blow my top’. Whatever they tell me. This is tried and tested – to breaking point, believe me! I feel very lucky to have this honesty with them. I wish I could give my ex-husband, their Dad, the gift of Mindfulness this Christmas.