“In a gentle way, you can shake the world”

glowing heartThis evening I read Mahatma Ghandi’s quote shared by one of the groups that I follow online, Sacred Circle Retreats.  The quote is simply this, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.  Simple. Effective. True.

Also, this particular evening, I’m sitting with feelings of guilt and remorse, which are unbelievably heavy by the way, about hurting someone very dear to me.  My daughter, my baby.  Its an old feeling that you don’t know existed until one develops a conscious and realizes that we have the capacity to harm as much as we do to heal.  I figure that around mid-childhood sounds about right, where we know that being unkind doesn’t feel good and we set out to be better next time.

I know as a parent I certainly strive for that goal of doing better next time.  And although this issue comes up in other relationships of wife, nurse, community person, its the role of mother that I find it the hardest to tolerate errors in my humanness.  Is it because we created this being and feel so damned responsible for everything that happens to them?  Every piece of food must be pure and organic, every morsel of information needs to be nurturing and informational, each experience should enhance their beings and bring them closer to enlightenment?  Sure, why not?

Except that for someone like me, that kind of thinking is a recipe for destruction.  I could take the concept of child rearing, among others,  to its absolute extreme and be off the charts in my desire to be not just good but perfect. With a capital P.  PERFECT.

Its an illustration and symptom of a person with emotion regulation issues that we don’t tend to do anything on middle ground.  We are out there at the fringes.  This obviously requires close monitoring and loving care especially during stressful times.  A time when I’ve hurt someone and have the tendency to lose myself in guilt.  Being sensitive sucks during times like this.

As I read the quote, knowing that Ghandi meant something entirely different, I stick on the words “gently” and realize for the millionth time that we must tread lightly on each other and the world.  Slowly, I reel myself in and promise an awareness to be gentle in any way that I impact her world.  I remind myself AGAIN how words and actions can wound and I charge myself guilty of being flawed and human.  Please let me use this blog post as my confessional tonight as I purge some emotion. I can’t get this off of me fast enough.

I find that its a perfect time to practice the DBT skills I’ve learned over the years to offer myself compassion as well as the person I’ve harmed.   Today this issue is manageable whereas it wouldn’t have been before.  So maybe I have learned something along the way and perhaps I really am honoring my notion of doing better the next time.

At least I know that self forgiveness instead of self flagellation feels a whole lot better….and gentler.

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About Rescuing Little L

Documenting the pieces of my journey...recovery from childhood sexual abuse and cruel ignorance...the effects of those incidious acts through adulthood... until the grace of recovery transcended the trauma and shame of my past, making it possible to return to Rescue Little L.... View all posts by Rescuing Little L

9 responses to ““In a gentle way, you can shake the world”

  • Susie

    The duality of the Little L and the Big L…. of the parenting we received and the compassionate nurturing we have chosen to grow our own children in….. of the guilt that others inflict upon us and the sense of deep responsibility that we assign to ourselves and care of the world….. of the sensitive that came with us from the stars and the emotional extremes that have become a part of our humanness here…. I can’t help but think that we have found over the years that we balance all of those extremes quite nicely relative to where we could be have chosen had we followed what we knew. From where I stand my friend, I would have chosen you for my mother in a heart beat. I would have cherished your wisdom and, had you been my mother, I would have been the proudest and most grateful of daughters. Instead, I am a soul sister….. and I am infinitely proud and grateful to be able to say that I share more than history with you…. I also share your parenting style as I look back on the raising of my own daughter.

    • Rescuing Little L

      My goodness, that was beautiful…Your words are music to my ears today and much more eloquent…I wrote last night even though I didn’t have complete command of what I was saying just went with the feeling…

      Thank you, I would have been proud to have you as a daughter as I am so proud of the daughter I have…but as divine timing has it, I do have you as a sister instead. Today is easier because I can look at the big picture, trust that the universe has put me where I can reflect gently and learn. Today I have friends who courageously give their love and admit to their own struggles. Today I have much hope….and I love that you took the time to post and how much that meant to me…~LOVE~

  • Jackie L. Robinson

    Aw my sweet friend, you are SO not alone when it comes to mother’s guilt. It’s engrained in us, it seems–no matter how we’ve parented along the way. It’s in our DNA. But very much like what you’ve done here for yourself, I find that rather than sitting in the guilt, I can instead dissolve a layer at a time by recognizing the beauty in Gandhi’s words. The deeper truth is that we are Divine and all has purpose when we see from a higher perspective. From there, we already ARE perfect. Love to you….xo

    • Rescuing Little L

      I love how one quote posted on your site spreads through us, touching each in their own way, for healing or creative purposes. I’m so enjoying Sacred Circle Retreats! Yes, a mother’s guilt is a powerful tendency for me. So agree that dissolving one layer at a time, gently, very gently is key. Thank you for posting, your words are always so wise and full of love…

  • bipolarmuse

    Ahhhh, this is a beautiful revelation really. I can certainly relate as I have children nearly grown and little ones. I am always striving to be better and gentler. Being gentle to OURSELVES takes much practice. Sometimes I think that being gentle on myself means that I am accepting unacceptable behavior…now, I know that is not the case. We would be gentle to others more so than our self… this is a trend to stop… especially when we make great strides on personal growth and self love.
    Great post. ♥

    • Rescuing Little L

      Hey darlin…good to hear from you! Gosh, we mothers are so hard on ourselves aren’t we? Together we learn and grow! You made such a good point that when I’m gentle on myself that it FEELS like I’m accepting or even in denial about my behavior…Wow, that’s good! That’s exactly how it feels….as if I need to beat on myself further to assure that I get it….You nailed it! Yes, self love is the answer…

  • the warrioress

    I can so relate… I’m mothering a nearly fourteen year old daughter who is often quite challenging — surprise! She takes after me! Coming from a history of severe abuse, and terrible role models as parenting guides, I’ve never been a perfect mom. Thankfully, my child appears to be forgiving. We’re great at communication, most of the time, and I’m so grateful for that. I’m learning not to beat myself up because I do that better than anyone else can. It does feel so good when I overcome my past and refuse to allow it to influence the way I react to my child. It’s really tough sometimes, though. I’m with you on this in spirit, Little L.

    Regards,

    Adrienne

    • Rescuing Little L

      Adrienne…your words of comfort soothe my soul …From reading your blog, I can’t imagine a more gentle person and it seems that you are very on top of any issues that detract you from a loving approach to life. Yes, teens can really try our patience but end up being the best of teachers…I continue to be amazed at the gentleness of your spirit and your ability to look at tough issues from all sides…Thanks for stopping by, your comments are most appreciated! Keep up your phenomenal work ❤

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