Wasn't Jesus the original hippie? With his sandals, dress and kind, compassionate, tender, joyful nature? What a loaded word that is! I am oftentimes called a hippie – in some ways, I am, some not. I am an Older Mom with Young Kids and Older Kids, Four in All – Remarried, Striving to make a Step Family with Love and God's help.
She gives her 15 month old sister a yogurt drink on Dad’s Hereke rug.
“Claire, you know she is not supposed to eat in here. Why would you do that?’ I yell in exasperation.
These things always happen in the middle of getting dinner ready, when the boys need to be at baseball … but here I am, on my hands and knees cleaning up yogurt.
Puppy dog tears in her eyes. ‘I’m a Bad Girl, Mommy, a Bad Girl!!!’, she wails.
And I have to stop and reassure her that no, she is not a bad girl, she just forgot and made a mistake … we all do.
I think back to my childhood and my teenage years that my boys are entering.
Now, I was a Bad Girl.
I made stupid, stupid choices … my parent’s vodka in the liter of sprite that I brought to a band party, stealing a pack of cigarettes from an unlocked car …
Wasting my God Given Presents – beauty, smarts, love …
In a Defiant Attempt to say
“I Don’t Care.”
“I Am Not Afraid.”
This path led me down a road to a divorce with two young kids, drinking four or five beers a night to quell the fear, the anxiety, the gloom … so I could sleep.
I did not Know How to Live the Present.
How to just Be.
How to revel in the Glory of a Beautiful Sunny Day, how to be confident, happy, take the small gifts that each day gives us, and navigate through the road bumps.
Instead my emotions overwhelmed me, I was always Bored. Bored. Bored. I knew I was not good enough, that I would fail, mess things up, never find anyone …
And sure enough, all those things came to be.
At 37 years old, I found myself a single divorced mom with two young kids struggling to do it all on my own. Two small children depending on me.
Not only was I not good enough and had failed, but I know knew just how Bad Things could get. You lost people you love – all the pain, suffering going on every day in every place. How? How do you get up and fold the laundry, take the kids to Cub Scouts, do your dayjob to the best of your ability while trying to be there for your children?
I ended up at AA meetings seeing where this path would lead me – people who had lost families, jobs, everything … everything.
And I stopped myself.
I put myself in His Hands.
And said, “I trust you.’
‘Show me how to live …
In the Present.’
Day by day.
Moment by moment.
And here I am seven years later. A new marriage. Two more children. Taking each day moment by moment.
Forty three years to find the courage to say,
“I am Not Good Enough.
But I Do Care.
I Am Afraid.’
And that is Okay.
Because You Will Show Me the Way.
Colette O'Neill, Innovator of Goddess Permaculture ~Plantswoman ~ Teacher ~ Writer and Photographer
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