Evolve and grow

Julie and Caitrin NYCCaitrin and me in New York

Recently I saw a movie where the main character died of cancer and her husband had to go on without her. While she was alive in her final days, we (the viewers) discovered that the husband had been a gloomy sort of man from the day she met him. In her final days, he was alternately angry, restrictive, hostile to her friends, and reluctantly supportive of her last wishes. I found him wholly unattractive, yet his love for his wife (the sentiment of attachment, not the act of generosity) was also evident.

It took her death to catalyze a transformation in him. He determined at that point that it might not be a “sin” to enjoy himself. He took risks that put him in contact with people and gave him a chance to express himself into the world. Naturally, the movie concluded with all the members of his community affirming him for his astounding courage to change his personality.

I, on the other hand, wanted my money back. I walked out of the theater angry!

Really? This man couldn’t get his act together until his wife died? She didn’t get to have a husband who participated in their community, who enjoyed living, who brought cheer and goodwill into their home and to her? She had to *die* before he decided he should be a good, decent person (like other regular people for whom decency and joyful energy are a natural way of life)?

I told my friends (who had watched the film with me): “I can’t stand it when people refuse to evolve and grow! I resent it even more when they don’t do it until it is too late for the ones they love!”

Hence this post.

The best thing you can do for your family is to grow and evolve, yourself, now. Become a person who is not haunted by anxiety, who isn’t walking on eggshells, who isn’t unhappy or angry or burdened by unfinished business from your own childhood (or previous marriage or current marriage or victimization or whatever!).

You can’t escape the ghosts of your past by ignoring them or pretending them away. Your traumas and hurts, the dysfunctions of your family—these leave a mark and tweak how you see the world and your children.

You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to become the best version of yourself you can be today—a conscious person, making deliberate choices, filled with goodwill and trust, hope, and love.

People who evolve and grow become decent, humane people. They figure out what is theirs (what they can change or do to improve their lives) and what isn’t (what belongs to the other person and is that person’s responsibility to change or improve).

The step to homeschool is born of a desire to create a nurturing, healthy, vibrant space for learning. Cherish that space. Take a sober assessment of it. Be honest about it! Is it the space you envision? What is your part in that atmosphere? What is the other person’s? What can be done to enrich it?

Then, if needed (and who of us in mid-life doesn’t need a mental health tune up sometimes?), get the support you deserve to walk through the sandwich years where aging parents and emerging teens clash in the demands for your energies.

Remember my motto? Joy is the best teacher.

You can’t fake joy.

Find it again. Do what it takes to evolve and grow.

Become who you imagine yourself to be, who you want to be. I know that person is worth aspiring to.

Be good to you.

Cross-posted on facebook.

5 Responses to “Evolve and grow”

  1. Lee says:

    Julie, lovely post and exellent points. I have recently transitioned from thinking of myself as a “home schooler” to a Life Educator, meaning I’m most interested in guiding/supporting my children towards the best possible life.

    Many of your recent posts seem to touch on this idea and I’m getting so much out of them!

  2. Jess says:

    Where do you go to get that help? I’m having so much trouble accepting the tantrums that my 7.5 year old is throwing. (Lasting upwards of an hour with physical lashing out, resulting in some holding her down to protect us/her, etc). I thought I was just able to accept that this is my life right now and she has some kind of unmet need (although I haven’t a clue what it is.) and that we will work on giving more to her. It’s not working; it’s been almost daily tantrums for 2 weeks now…I’m crashing. I want to support her…and it’s so unfair to dump on my husband, but I’m physically feeling the stress. (Nausea, heart rate, etc). Ahhhh…I want to be the mom that can be at peace in any situation, but I’m just grasping at nothing now.

  3. Lucy says:

    Julie, you DO know how much I love your thoughts and writings, don’t you? Thank you!

  4. Julie Bogart says:

    Jess, have you considered consulting a professional? I would quickly find a therapist in my area that works with children and families. You can get tools to help you and some support for what will be practices that honor your child without you losing your mind at the same time!

    That sounds like a genuine crisis. Your husband can give you some relief too and the two of you can go to the therapist together for a united strategy. HUGS to you. Brave work. This matters most right now.

  5. Kika says:

    Love this!