“Nothing is impossible, I have found. For when my chin is on the ground, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.” – from the American Songbook
This is one of my other “go-to” songs….I’ve been listening to it on repeat for about 15 minutes now, while processing an event that was very challenging, but from which I’m still standing. Today is one of those days where as much as I feel down and broken, I feel just as much a desire to be resilient and get back up.
Feedback is never easy, whether its from a close friend, constructive criticism from a boss or peer, or when it comes from your own child. I received some honest feedback today that is making me take a very hard look in the mirror, to the point of questioning what I’m doing with my life…it made me question if I’m just going through the motions, and trying to be “numb” to get by, or if I should be doing something completely different – not necessarily better, but something where I might feel more of a connection compared to what I’m feeling right now. (Writer, perhaps?)
Here’s the other issue that’s weighing very heavily on my mind today…my daughter hasn’t spoken to me since May of 2019, when she called me to ask that I not come to her 6th grade graduation party. She’s upset at me for many reasons (as told to her by her mother), and it’s a feeling of failure as a parent that I struggle with every day. I call every night and leave voicemails that are not returned, and I send gifts/cards that are not acknowledged. I struggle when people ask me how my daughter is doing, because she and I have such a disconnect right now. I know at some point she will start to question things as she gets older, and she’ll realize that not only do parents make mistakes, but hopefully she’ll also realize that we make decisions that we know will be good in the long term, even if they may seem wrong when we do them. Sting said it best – “If you love somebody, set them free.”
Between these two issues, I’ve been feeling pretty rock bottom today. Wallowing in self-pity and misery is not an option anymore – I’ve been on a “slow burn” with carrying the anger and frustration about my daughter, and this has been impacting my ability to communicate with others. (Re-reading this last sentence feels like a gut punch.) I’m struggling to see the things that I do well in life right now – I know I have a lot of positives – I just can’t feel them. In therapy, we talk about “the tape that plays in my head” of all past failures and mistakes….I’m trying (and I will) shut that tape off. I can only worry about the things I can control – it’s very hard when you see how things could be, but you just don’t know how to get there.
I know what my two major goals are for this year….to reconnect with my daughter, and to not let what I’m feeling on the inside affect how I communicate on the outside. Even though the two are intertwined, I can’t let this bring me down anymore.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference….and the strength to get up off the mat.