Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Authentic Self

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.  ---Teilhard de Chardin
Last night was a bad night. We came home from watching the middle school play, which my youngest son had participated in, and almost immediately my daughter and oldest son began a huge fight. For most people, sibling fights are not a big deal. I had plenty with my sisters when I was growing up. Still, this was not a normal fight. My daughter has only recently been diagnosed with a "mood disorder". We have had to call the police to help us with her because she gets into these rages where there is no rational thought. She has been like this her whole life. When she was little, I could physically stop her. Now she is 16 and full grown. At this point in time, her brothers have gotten so tired of her verbal and physical abuse they now occassionally snap. Last night was one of those nights.
I struggled all night with the thought that I have brought all this on myself and that maybe I could have prevented the behaviors occurring with my daughter now if I had done something differently. After all, I have professional experience working with emotionally disturbed children. At this point, the abuse has worn me down to where I lose my own temper sometimes. I even find myself turning this anger inward, which leads to my depression. 
Fortunately, I remembered one very important thing this morning. I am a spiritual being having a human experience. Maybe I did bring about the circumstances that led to all this conflict in my life, but that's okay. I am here to learn, to grow. So I chose to have what Jennifer McLean (, calls a "level 10 experience". This means I have chosen to deal with an issue that will provide me with tremendous growth because of the challenges the experience presents. 
The world would look at this situation and say, "She must be a terrible parent with very poor coping skills." My authentic self sees this situation as one full of growth opportunties for both myself and my family. I am learning to overcome. I am learning to accept. I am learning to act instead of react. I am a work-in-progress. I am truly blessed.

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