Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Humility is a gift

Tonight the Littles and I are going to have a movie watching marathon. They don't have school for four days and so we are staying up late and just having fun. As I sit here watching them watching some Disney Channel show I am amazed at the smiles on their faces. They are not just mindlessly staring at the tv, like I am warned that they will be if they watch too much tv. They are fully engaged in this particular movie. So I am attempting to watch tv like a child. I am attempting to do things like a child for the next four days. I have a tendency to get too serious and I think I come off gruff to my kids at times.

So I'll be putting myself out there to them and letting my hair down. This is actually going to be hard for me to do. I talk a lot about living joyfully, but it seems like lately I have been thinking joyfully, but not really living that way. In my mind, I'm having a blast. In real life, not so much. I still wonder what other parents will think of me. I wonder what my kids teachers think of me. I wonder what my own friends and family think of me. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.

I'm cheating myself. I'm keeping myself on a short leash. Not letting go completely. Even as I type this, I hear myself saying things like, "But you can't be joyful ALL the time." "You have to show the kids how a responsible adult behaves." "You don't want to embarrass Mr. Man by acting child-like."

Here's my free-spirited answers to these thoughts. Who says I can't be joyful ALL the time? If being a responsible adult means I can't live joyfully, then I guess I don't want to be a responsible adult, nor do I want to teach my children how to be one. I may embarrass Mr. Man sometime, but he'll survive and maybe even decide that a joyful life is worth the embarrassment.

All I know for sure is that lately I have been acting a lot like the kind of people that I tend to complain about. The parent who pushes their child to fit in. The busy body gossip that likes to hear what everyone else is up to. Passing judgement on those who judge others. All of this was brought to my attention a couple of days ago. I don't even know how I came to see this ugly truth about me. I guess it was just Divinely revealed to me. With the revelation came a big dose of humility. If you ever have the opportunity to get your hands on a dose of humility I highly recommend taking it. It was just what I needed.

I needed to see all of these truths about myself. I want to let go of the truths that don't serve me. Humility used to feel like humiliation. I used to feel that being humbled was a sign of weakness. I see now that humility is actually a blessing. Its a gift from the Divine to get me ever closer to being the free-spirited woman that I know that I am meant to be.

So I am looking forward to spending the next 4 days learning how to be the free-spirited person that I want to be from some people who already are. My Littles.

Just my thoughts.


Jay Schryer said...

Good for you, Jill! Growing up is highly overrated, and I don't recommend it...for anyone! However, once you've actually gone and done it, the secret to surviving is remembering to be free spirited and play as often as possible. Kudos to you for freeing your spirit!

tomdub_1024 said...

Hard as it is, letting go of judgment is so difficult, so ingrained it is in our culture.

Be free, who cares what others think, lol, my neighbors hate us cuz we dont have the golf course lawn and have "hobo" shacks all over it (due to the boyz creativity)...screw them, its YOUR life, not theirs....have fun as you see fit!

Sandi Delia said...

Glorious, beautiful writing, Jill. What I heard was how powerful the lure of conformity is in all of our lives.

I wonder what would create better adults - watching their parent laughing and goofing around or living with Mrs. Uber Responsible? I know I would have preferred parents who knew how to play and not take themselves too seriously. There's enough serious crap in the world - let's play!!

inkywasfat said...

I struggle too sometimes to just be silly; it's a personality issue. But that doesn't mean I don't do it. Oh, no. I'm learning that this girl needs to LAUGH, that it's vital to my health. So, have a great long weekend.

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

How interesting that you pointed out the difference between thinking joyfully and living joyfully. I've been having similar experiences lately. I was silly the other day and it felt sooooo good. Necessary, almost!
Why we squelch kids as they're growing up and try to make them responsible little adults, I'm only half sure. I'd rather do what you're trying to do and learn from kids, rather than thinking I have anything to teach them. Kids are so much more resilient than adults, are more open than adults, tend to love in greater degrees than adults... And yet all we want to do is teach kids how to be adults? Doesn't register in my brain. Not today, anyway!
Way to be, Jill!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Jay - Thanks for the kudos. I have always enjoyed your child-like energy. It has been an inspiration for me.

Tom - Yes, judgement is my biggest character flaw. Even of myself. I loved seeing the pictures of your "hobo" shacks. Your yard rocks.

Sandi - Yup. My littles are going to see a bit sillier mama. I can be silly at times, but I always end up back in uptight mode.

Stacey - Yay for you in seeing the benefits to laughter. Laugh it up girl.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Megan - I definitely feel like my kids have taught me what kind of adult I want to be. I have learned that if I want to live joyfully, I should live and love like a child.

Jan said...

Your movie marathon with the kiddos sounds absolutely dreamy. I just love to watch a kid show now and then, just my 60 year old hubbie and me. Fun to be silly, laugh like a child (even at all those silly jokes that have to do with bodily functions), eat tons of popcorn and be young again.

I'm thrilled you are having fun letting down your hair and being you. May your spirit continue to soar!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Thank you Jan. My spirit is definitely soaring today.

Keith said...

Hello Jill!

I really like the way you write and enjoyed this article very much. I like how you used the word "humility" in this post as well. So many equate humility with humiliation and the two words carry very different meanings.

I really "feel" what you're saying here too, it's like we car too much about what others think of us and that fear keeps us from really being ourselves.

When we deafeat that mindset, become comfortable and accepting of ourselves, then freedom enters in.

Thanks Jill1

shiny mamaof6 said...

Keith - Thank you for leaving your thoughts here. I agree with you about defeating that mindset. Freedom can only come through self-acceptance.

Christine said...

I live for those humble moments of self discovery! It's like having the chance to clean a dirty mess you didn't know was there before. Congrats, and I hope you have fun being a kid again. :)

Joy said...

I have Littles and find great joy in revisiting my childhood through some of our activities together. As I read your words, it occurs to me that being joyful and being responsible are inclusive, rather than exclusive. Believe me there are some chores responsibilities it is hard for me to be joyful about, but I try. And yes, lots of times I think our neighbors think we are "dorky" for lack of a better adjective--but it's fine, because I am happy and my Littles are happy. The fact that you devoted four days to being with your children, and allowing your inner child to play, is quite joyful. And I know your children treasure those moments:)

shiny mamaof6 said...

Christine - The chance to clean a dirty mess that I didn't know was there before. I love that. I can be really good at missing messes. I am grateful that I now listen to my Spirit when it tells me its time to clean up.

Joy - I hear you about the less than joyful chores. I try to look at them as a gift to myself and my family. Doesn't always work.

I think that "dorks" are awesome. I guess you could say that I'm an aspiring dork. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

Zeenat said...

JIll, I am with you on this. Lets all be "KIDDIES till we die"...taken from the song '18till i die'!!!
I have the same experience when my little one watches some show of hers on TV...i can just watch her and be so satisfied...and many a times i end up watching with her and jumping up and down and dancing with her when Dora dances "we did it we did it" heheh..
My hubby always teases me with "will you ever grow up?"..I just giggle back and tell him he is stuck...and cant run cause he is married to a Big kid. He joins in the fun imagine this..we are a house hold full of kids and no adults...!!! How much fun is that ?? :)

suZen said...

Wonderful post - and even better premise - go for the joy! The older I get, the more tightly I embrace the kid in me and don't want to lose it - ever! As for humility - yeah, you're right - it used to be a feeling of humiliation. Now I just smile and consider it a loving reminder that my ego is askew, simply adjust it and move on.

Tess The Bold Life said...

This sounds fantastic I hope you're running with the wind in joy about now...I'm a little late!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Zeenat - You're little one is lucky to have a joyful mama. Keep spreading the joy.

Suzen - I love that you are holding on to that inner child. You are setting a good example to all of those "lost" adults out there.

Tess - Yes!! Still running with the wind in joy. Thanks.

mermaid said...

Sounds like their is a deep rooted critic there. It's nice to hear you uprooting it with your insights and resolutions. Please be kind to yourself. It's so easy to get stuck in all the old habits, especially when those around you may also engage in them. I've found that I need certain people and things to ground me when I am slipping away. Hope you find/have them, too.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Mermaid - I love the idea of having people or things to ground me. I know that I have them, I just don't think I use them for that reason. I am pretty sure that this blog is also one thing that helps me stay grounded and joyful. Thanks for sharing here.