Grow through what you go through.
My son has Aspergers. Have I mentioned? We found out when he was 4. He’s now 18.
The diagnosis explained a lot of what was wildly perplexing and challenging and exhausting and also wonderful those first years.
It opened up a whole new journey for me–how to meet his needs while also tending to my own, though figuring out what he needed was giving me what I needed because showing up for him was/is one of my core values.
You see, once I became a mom? There was no extracting the mom me from me. I was this new person–Kyra/Mom, a being who had creative needs WHOLY unrelated to my role as a mother (as they existed before he did) but ones that now were informed by the me I now was.
Is this coming across?
I like to figure things out. I like to tease things apart, poke at the threads, pull on them, find the end, sort, see what goes with what. It’s especially satisfying to find threads that belong together, that make sense, to tie them up and weave them together.
I have a percolating mind and a lot of energy and stamina and optimism, which I think you need to figure things out because you’ve got to believe there is a solution, an answer, or many answers, in order to keep going while not GRIPPING so tightly to that notion, newly discovered things can’t enter.
I can be AT something for a long, long time which has been described as “dedicated” and “committed” and also “irritating” and “controlling” and “argumentative.”
I prefer the Buddhist’s way of looking at this: it’s not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but rather a quality that can either SERVE ME or NOT, depending on the situation.
As a mom, it’s done both–mostly the former but sometimes, the latter.
Why? Because my prime directive was/is to protect my son and protection is impossible.
I don’t mean to imply that we, as parents and humans, are to throw up our hands and let the wolves come raise (or devour) our children. We are here to show up and do our best, to reach deep down, even when we’re up against it, even when we’ve got nothing left, to find that thing we didn’t know was there.
I want to keep him safe but I’m not in charge of that. Safety, it turns out, comes not from having all the answers and preparing for all possible outcomes but from embracing uncertainty because there is no life without uncertainty, there just isn’t.
We simply aren’t in charge of everything. Or everyone. Or, it seems, ANYONE except for ourselves and even that can be a tall order at times.
Not every tangle can be untangled.
Not everything can be tied up.
And not everything makes sense.
Peace doesn’t come from eliminating all the knots but from finding a way to live more loosely within them.
Personally, I hate this. I PREFER to figure things out and get that glorious AHA moment. I like systems, feeling informed, prepared, confident in the future, especially when it comes to the most important stuff like the safety and happiness of those I love.
I can’t tell you how many times, after reading and researching and training and brainstorming, I have brought all my insight, instinct, and information to a situation, just dragged it all in there, breathless and passionate and SURE, and it hasn’t worked.
I want to say, No no no no! You don’t understand! THIS IS HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO GO! WHY ARE YOU NOT ALL COOPERATING? WHY IS THIS NOT WORKING? Especially when what’s at stake feels spectacularly monumental & foundational to my son’s safety.
But there is no ‘supposed to go’ in this life.
Making meaning involves a process of identifying what matters, moving toward that thing as creatively as possible, while also cultivating space for all the shit that happens when you meet the world with all her unpredictability and complexity and chaos.
So what’s a human to do?
Own our desire, our curiosity, our plans along with all our tangles that may never unwind or completely make sense and gather the humans that see you and get you because they too are poking and pulling at their own beautiful, maddening knots.