Thursday, February 12, 2009
Therapy Thursday's Topic: Doing It Better Maya Angelou said "You did the best you could and when you knew better, you did better." What is something in your life that this statement applies to? Do you strive to know better and do better? I am not perfect. I have lots of room for improvement. (Jeff- stop nodding your head!) I am a constantly evolving work in progress. I feel like I can always be learning. I believe it is my choice and in my power to improve or remain stagnant. While this quote applies to many, many areas of my life, I've found it most applicable to parenting. I believe that parenting is the one job in my life that will be the absolute most important thing I ever do. And it is the one job that you go into completely unprepared. There isn't enough training in the world. And there isn't a program you can go through, a degree you can work towards, or a license you can obtain. If I didn't want to do better, I could just feel my way through and hope for the best. But it means too much to do that. So I read. And explore. And learn. I read things I don't agree with. I read things that I do agree with. And I seek out opinions and experiences from as many sources as possible. With my pregnancies, I read everything I could get my hands on so that I would understand as much as I could about pregnancy and development and so on. Teagan was born and the books piled up. Some were serious, tried and true reference points that got me through some serious hard times. Some I read and maybe tucked away ideas to fall back on when my "meets with my instinct" books didn't work. Some I read and my gut told me that what was written was flat out wrong- especially for my baby. I went back to my "good" books once Zach came along. And I continue to read and expand my mind and gain ideas and options as my kids get older and go through new phases. I don't parent by any book. But I make damn sure I am as self-educated as possible so that I have a full reference library to turn to when needed. Because I want to know better. Because I want to do better. Because I want to be better. Because my kids are worth it. *** My marriage is good. Heck, my marriage is great. Again- not perfect. Nothing is and I don't strive for or expect perfection from anyone or anything. I do the best I can with what I know about being married, with what I know about Jeff. But I want to be better. Because he deserves the best. So I work to strengthen things. I work to stay focused on his needs and wants. I work to do my part to keep us... us. I'm not constantly "talking about our relationship." I'm not running around reading self help books and trying to fix problems that don't exist. But I do have that drive to read, to learn, to absorb, and apply as necessary. Hence the reason why I decided to try The Love Dare. Not because my marriage is in trouble. But because marriage always takes work and can always be strengthened and improved. Because I know better and want to do better. Because my husband is worth it. *** I'd like to start feeling this way about my job and career again. I think. Gonna save that topic for another day, though. *** I think this way of thinking is also what helped me gain strength and confidence when I went through all of the hard work it took to heal from the sexual abuse I survived. I've had people ask me how I lived through it, how I'm so strong. I usually don't know the answer. I know my relationship with God has a lot to do with it. But I know a lot of what God did was to help me find what I needed within myself. Prior to getting help, prior to my secrets coming out, I was displaying a lot of "cry for help" behavior. Things that could have been really dangerous. I was in a place that I didn't know better. I was functioning in survival mode because my insides were crumbling, broken, deteriorating. I was doing the best I could- basically to stay alive. And in therapy, and in prayer... I found out how to do better. How to make better choices. How to recognize my own control, manage my own responsibility. I did the best I could while my body was in survival mode. While I learned how to live once I was away from the crisis and chaos of abuse. And when I knew better, when I was taught better, when I learned better... I did better. So, for me, I don't see it as being about strength. I see it being about knowledge and power and choice. Or maybe it's that strength is like love- a choice. I chose to be strong and face it head on and not let what happened to me force me into victimhood. *** That went deeper than I had anticipated! So share your own thoughts! Click the link at the top of the page and share your story. Or link back to the Therapy Thursday blog with an entry on your blog. And feel free to leave comments here with any thoughts you have about what I've shared.