Patti Digh was the first person, to open my eyes to the idea of living from a place of intention or as a reaction to the circumstances in my life. It quickly spilled over into my understanding of my journey as a mother.
Am I parenting from a place of intention or as a reaction to set of circumstances that are in front of me. Yesterday I found my son head down on his desk in front of his xbox, tears hanging on his words. I asked what was up. He started to yell and point and say things that did not compute for me. I reacted from a place of circumstance and met his angry words with just as much frustration as he was feeling. We were both wound up in fury of miscommunication, hurling useless information at one another and spiraling further and further away from any sort of solution.
In a breath, I found my way back to intention. My intention as a mother is to hold the space of peace for my children when the world around them gets wobbly and they can’t figure out which way is up. To be their constant. Their support. Their unconditional place. That looks like a lot less talking and way more listening. And patience. So much patience for the storm to move. The solution never comes in the heat of the storm. It comes in the calm that I know from experience always comes after.
For me this means having a clear foundation of what that intention is. So that when circumstance blows through the door and knocks me on my ass, I have a foundation to land on. So that even if I have a brief moment of dancing with circumstance, intention will cut in before the chorus carries me away.
When the boys were young we sat down and created a family vision statement. They were little and it was fun and loose and mostly just a playful way to find out what each person was seeing as our way to be together. I took our words and played with them, tried out a few sentence structures and finally we decided on this “to unite in our commitment to love each other unconditionally.” This got painted in sparkly letters on piece of canvas and has hung on the wall wherever we live. As a visual reminder of our intention as a family.
There is much more to it then just that sentence. But that visual reminder helps me to find those strands of connection, respect, relationship, love and peace that are my intentions, my foundation in how I choose to be as the parent of these precious human beings who I share space and time with. Especially in the moments when circumstance is tall and ugly and begging to take control of our entire experience.
The deeper meaning that rolls out of a commitment to parent with intention is a message that says, over and over again, you my dear child are much more important than any stress ball that may tumble between us. Your sense of self means more then any moment of frustration that might push us to the edges our anger. Our relationship matters to me, more then mistakes and misunderstanding. Yes, my child, this unconditional love is yours to have in your weakest and your strongest moments and everything else in between.