The Boxer & The Punching Bag

This week, I lost my temper with my kids.  I raised my voice.  I hurt their feelings.  But the lowest moment?

Telling them Santa Claus wasn't coming next year.

That's right.  I swore I'd never become 'that kind' of mother, but here I am: Ebenezer Hurd.

After I was done killing Christmas, I apologized.  Sincerely.  I told them why I was wrong, how I'd try not to lose my cool in the future.  Then I asked them if they could forgive me.  They didn't know what that meant, so I had to explain it to them.  In the end, they understood what forgiveness was, and that yes, they did forgive me, and maybe next time I could give them chocolate after I got mad.

(Warning: my toddlers may one day sell you used cars.)

Anyway, it was a rather beautiful moment. Teaching kids to release somebody from feeling bad was truly moving. 

The next day, I went to work, and began getting down on myself.  Which is sadly normal.  Every time I don't meet an arbitrary standard that I've set for myself, I feel guilty.  On Wednesday, I felt bad that I didn't recycle everything I could at the restaurant.  On Thursday, I felt bad that I threw out the ends of loaves of bread that I could've fed to our birds.  On Friday, I felt bad that I didn't get our staffing schedule done on time, and then I felt bad all weekend that I took a little time off work to heal from a sinus infection.

You read right: I am the boxer, and also the punching bad.

Reader, why is it that we ask forgiveness of others, but we never ask it of ourselves?  Why am I so eager to teach my kids how to release somebody from feeling bad, but I won't release my own heart?  I honestly don't know, but I know I'm going to try a hell of a lot harder to forgive myself this week.  Walking around in a constant state of guilt is no way to live.  If you're also beating yourself up, I invite you to join me in acknowledging when you've made a mistake, asking yourself forgiveness, and then letting the damn thing go.  

I'm heading to spend a little time with the family.  Have a happy Valentine's Day this week, all you lovebirds.  See you next Monday. -Em




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