I’ve been on a spiritual journey the last few years. While I’ve always believed in something greater than myself, the idea of God and organized religion never really spoke to me.
What did finally speak to me was the Law of Attraction when I watched the movie “The Secret” a few years ago. It changed my life for the better once I realized I was in control of how I felt about the things that happen to me.
Every day since I’ve tried my best to practice gratitude without faltering, and in doing so I’ve been blessed with a surplus of happiness and good fortune. My life might not be perfect, but to me it’s pretty damn close. Sure there are shit-covered bumps in my road every so often, but my positive attitude has helped me roll over them, wash myself off and start smiling again.
The thing is, I’ve never been religious. I just wasn’t raised that way. And while I was baptized Lutheran as a child, my religious upbringing didn’t go much beyond that.
I didn’t read the bible. I never made my Communion or Confirmation. There was no church on Sundays or saying grace with dinner – which never seemed to bother me when I was growing up anyway.
It wasn’t until I had my son that I started to feel like there might be something missing in my life without some form of religious belief or practice.
As he got older I began to feel a bit guilty for not having anything to teach him about religion or spirituality, so I started reading books from all sorts of spiritual visionaries to try to educate myself and figure out what I truly believed in.
Most recently I’ve been engulfed in a book by Gabby Bernstein called Spirit Junkie which is basically a lesson in A Course In Miracles for dummies. This week I came to a chapter that speaks about opening up to “spirit” so that it can guide you through the lessons you need to learn to help you figure out your life’s purpose.
One way to do so is to pray each morning to whatever “spirit” you choose and then do five minutes of meditation afterwards with the hope that some sort of answers will come to you.
Yesterday was the first day I decided to start this ritual so I got up early and prayed to my “Inner Guide” since that is what felt right for me.
“Dear Inner Guide, Where would you have me go today? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?”
During my meditation afterwards I hoped a message would come through to me, but my mind was a bit cluttered and I couldn’t seem to quiet it – so I went on with my day like I normally do figuring whatever I needed to learn would come to me anyway.
My day was pretty normal. I signed on to my computer for work. I dived into some projects. I actually got pretty lost in the hours until the alarm on my phone went off to alert me it was time to get my son off the school bus.
I put on my jacket and stared out the window just like I normally do, waiting for the bus to drive by and turn into the cul-de-sac across the street. That’s how I always knew when it was time to walk down the block to greet my son at his stop, but the bus never passed.
Or at least I somehow never saw it.
I don’t know how I never saw it go by when I never moved from that window, but I didn’t.
As the minutes passed I started to get irritated that the bus was late – and then I heard a knock on my door.
When I opened it up my son was outside, with a look of fright on his face.
“I thought something happened to you, Mommy!”
Turns out that bus DID go by, and because I wasn’t down the block at the bus stop my son had run all the way home by himself in a panic.
I grabbed him and wrapped my arms around him and apologized profusely, as I could feel his 8-year-old heart beating against my chest.
As tears streamed down both of our faces, I felt like the shittiest mom ever.
And then my phone rang and it was my ex calling me a bit frantic because the school had called him to make sure Aidan had gotten home ok since no one was at the bus stop, and I felt EVEN SHITTIER.
Great. All I needed was my ex judging me now too, and calling me a bad mother after I’d fought so hard to prove I wasn’t during the custody battle we just went through.
But the thing is, HE DIDN’T.
After I explained to him what happened and waited for him to berate me, HE DIDN’T.
“It’s ok, I understand.”
Am I hearing that correctly? After he recently accused me of being an inadequate mother?
Wait, he understands that our kid just ran home alone?! Because if the tables were turned I surely would’ve ripped him a new one.
In fact, I’ve ripped him a new one several times before over even being a minute late to the bus stop – let alone not being there AT ALL.
But for whatever reason, he chose not to dig into me – though I completely deserved it.
It took missing the school bus yesterday for me to see what a judgmental bitch I’ve been towards my ex.
I’ve had many thoughts and written things about him over the last few months that have been scathing.
And to be honest I’ve been on a pretty high-horse since winning our custody battle, though it’s probably only naturally for the ego to deem one of us better than the other when it comes to a case of winners or losers in a Court of law.
But the reality is I’m really not better than my ex, and my Inner Guide wanted me to see that.
My ex isn’t perfect, and my missing the school bus proved that I’M NOT PERFECT. After beating myself up for several hours following the incident, I finally realized that’s ok – because no matter how hard I try I will never be perfect.
Maybe the realization that we’re equals can serve as a turning point in our relationship as co-parents. It certainly feels like a turning point to me since I now see myself and my ex differently.
The next time my ex makes a mistake I won’t be so quick to judge him, and I hope he will continue not to judge me.
All either of us can do is our best. All ANY of us can do is our best.
Seems at the heart of it, we’re all pretty equal in this life.
Thanks for the lesson, Inner Guide.