Monday, December 14, 2015

A Tough Read for My Creative-Sensitive Mind

Thoughts are like an open ocean, they can either move you forward within its waves, or sink you under deep into its abyss.
~Anthony Liccione

I started a book called Strong-willed Child or Dreamer? that was given to me by a friend. She is the mother of my daughter's bestest friend that she met last year in her science class. The mother has given this book to many parents because it changed her perspective so much about her own daughter and how she thinks: She knew her child was not strong-willed, she is too selfless of a peacemaker to fit in that category.

After reading just two chapters, I had to step away for a little while for a couple of reasons. One, I am still working through my remaining feelings from all that transpired since the beginning of September. We went from the Princess' deepening funk to finding out she was not turning but half her schoolwork to a boy with a crush on her to the high school retreat to losing the lead role in the play to leaving the school to my husband being away from home for four weeks all with the holidays creeping in. I am thankful that the Princess is now a pretty normal teenager with the up and down moods that go with it, but at least there are the up ones and laughter now. I, on the other hand, have been walking on the edge of the emotional abyss and I slipped down into it a little ways so I am trying to climb out, but also I keep losing footholds and progress is hampered.

So, as I began reading the book weeks ago, the introduction of the workings inside the creative-sensitive mind, I am meeting myself in every page and I began slipping down again. It is not like I do not know who I am and how I think. I have known me for a very long time. I think what began hurting is that even though I know who I am, how I think, and what I need, being well aware of the all three does not ensure the third one: what I need.

What I need I have pushed aside for many good reasons, like homeschooling my daughter is my highest priority in this season my my life. That is a good one, right? Half of the inside my house is in a needs-renovation state because of damage to the walls from the window replacements so that has a priority. Another good one, right? The Princess needs more space and organization so she explore and refine her creative talents. That one is important for creative-sensitive minds...but that is the one that gives me a pinch.

Just two chapters in and instead of being thrilled to better understand myself or my child, I only feel confirmation of what I already knew about both of us. But, worse, I realize more keenly than before that I have been denying myself what I would never want to deny my own daughter. How many years has it been? There have been moments, but most of my life I have pushed back, pushed aside, and even given completely up the very things I am trying to make sure my daughter has, what I did not and still do not allow myself to have. I am every bit of the creative dreamer that she is. I am not jealous...well, maybe I am, not of her but of the encouraging mother she has—twisted as it sounds. I am jealous of myself for being the mother I wish I had, but I am also jealous that I do not allow myself the creative time that I allow for my daughter.

I just have not been able to continue the book without a loosing a foothold. The book is very good, but I may have to take it in by small bits. I believe my Lord placed it in my hands to help me understand what I have done to myself, what has become a habit for me for many years. The book was not so much for me to better understand my daughter, although I am sure I will glean some good from it, and it was not so much for me to better understand myself, I know me, but to better understand how I deny my own desires to use the gifts He created in me for His pleasure, as well as my own. If I take pleasure seeing my daughter use her creative gifts, certainly I have been denying my Lord that pleasure.

My Lord has made it clear to me that I need to go through this, to come to terms with it. I do not want these underlying feelings to taint the relationship I have with my daughter nor our creative workings. I want us to enjoy creating together and apart from each other as well. We have different styles, but we can appreciate the differences and learn from each other because of them.

There is one other thing I wonder: If I am the mother I wish I had, does that also get twisted around that my daughter is the daughter I wish I had been able to be? I catch my thoughts going that way sometimes. I was given a vision mentioned in Just One Year Ago that suggested that when my daughter was just a year old. I feel I also must be very careful not to place such an expectation on her.

My Lord, lead me on this walk. Let me place my feet only on the solid places You show me so I no longer slip down on my way up and out.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.