I’ve had times in my life when other people have presented me with new ideas and I haven’t wanted to know about them. I hear what they’re saying, but I don’t want to consider the ideas too deeply. Why would I do that? Isn’t it good to be challenged, to learn and to grow?
Sometimes being challenged makes us feel very uncomfortable. What if we decide our beliefs or our actions are wrong? We might have to change. Change pushes us out there into the unknown. We lose our place of security. Of course, we might find something a whole lot better, but that doesn’t always make the first step any easier.
As well as losing our security, accepting new ideas might involve admitting we’ve made mistakes. If these mistakes are associated with our children, it’s even harder. We might not be able to bear the thought we haven’t done as well as we could.
So what do we do? Do we refuse to engage in any challenging discussions? Do we close our eyes and continue on as normal?
I have found that with time, the challenging ideas begin to nag at me, regardless of my refusal to consider them. I find them creeping into my thoughts at inconvenient moments. And then one day, I’m ready to listen. So maybe it’s quite okay to take our time.
And perhaps we need to be gentle with ourselves. Accept that we all make mistakes. No one parents perfectly. We learn as we go.
Whenever I make a mistake, I feel such a crushing sense of shame. How could I have done that? My children deserve better. I’m sure they’ll remember my mistake forever. It’ll scar them for life. And this is silly because my kids are very forgiving.
Why would they forgive instead of dwelling on my failings? The ability to forgive arises out of love. If we love our kids unconditionally and forgive all their mistakes, they learn to do the same.
“I’m the worst mother in the world,” I tell my kids. At least that’s how I feel.
“No, you’re not, Mum. We can’t think of a better one.”
Sometimes the problem isn’t being forgiven by those around us. It’s forgiving ourselves.
I think everything starts with unconditional love. Perhaps that’s the first idea we should consider. Surely this can’t make us feel uncomfortable? To love unconditionally, isn’t that what we are all called to do?
Images: I took these photos of my daughters Imogen and Charlotte while we were filming the music video Can’t Help Falling in Love. A song about love to go with a post about love!
Have you ever changed your mind about an idea that once you thought you’d never consider?