Forgiving ourselves is perhaps, the single hardest thing a lot of people encounter. When we make a mistake, whether it be with failing to be as active as we should, or eating something we know isn’t good for us, or having feelings of tension with a family member- it’s hard to forgive ourselves and move on. I know for me, I tend to hold my failures over my head and they become a reminder of why I’m not good enough. It’s almost like I’m telling myself I’m not good enough and each failure proves I’m right. Funnily enough, my successes are never registered in my brain and are quickly dismissed as flukes or just plain forgotten.
This past week I went to Whole Foods with my sister, my mom, and my son. The week leading up to the trip to Whole Foods was dreadful. Things just weren’t going right. My son had been sick and was super clingy, wasn’t sleeping well (when he was sleeping at all), the house was a mess and I just couldn’t seem to keep up, I didn’t feel like I had time to make homemade and fresh meals, so we ate out a lot, we ordered a dishwasher and it came in the wrong color, the kitchen sink started to leak, and we have a fairly new dog that was super active (sick child= no walks with doggie= cabin fever for everyone).
So- back to Whole Foods. My son wanted to be held and as I was holding him he reached for a glass bottle of macadamia nut oil (who buys macadamia nut oil anyway? Am I just ignorant to the benefits?) and he throws it to the floor. I screamed, “No no no!!!!” as I saw it tumble to the ground. I mean, my scream was loud. I really try hard not to raise my voice, especially around my son. I find yelling rarely gets the kind of reaction people usually are wanting and therefore it’s useless. I try to save my louder voices for when he’s running into a street or going to hurt the dog or himself. I usually try to keep calm when things like macadamia nut oil goes crashing down. It certainly doesn’t deserve a yell, but it got one. Luckily, the bottle didn’t break.
I put my son on the ground and I said (there’s only so much a 2 year old can understand, but I felt the need to explain anyway) “we don’t throw things on the ground, that’s not good, no throw.” And then I hugged him. And then I cried. Yes, in the middle of the aisle of Whole Foods- because the week had just come to a literal crash and I realized I was broken. I couldn’t hold the tears in any longer. So I hugged him and I cried. And in that moment I realized that while I may not be a perfect mother, or a perfect cook, or perfect at eating the right things or exercising the right way, or perfect at anything really- I had the good sense to know that while this moment may suck, the next moment is an opportunity to try again. So I picked my son up and we shopped some more. I danced in the aisles with him, I tickled his chin. He played with his aunt, and touched everything on the shelves he could manage to get to.
That night I snuggled with him in the recliner while he fell asleep. I asked him to forgive mommy for not being as patient as she should. And then I told myself that I needed to forgive myself. Tomorrow was another day, filled with many more moments to show what kind of a mommy I will be. I can choose to be short tempered and frustrated, or I can choose to look beyond the immediate events and see the divine nature we have in all of us. Here’s to a new week and new moments.