My Mom Is Always Happy!
The other day, I heard my 11-year-old son say something to his friend that really caused me pause. He was frustrated and disheartened over not catching any fish, while his friend and his brother were.
The subject of being able to find joy in any situation came up, and his brother said, “Look at Mom!” Apparently citing me as an example.
Cruze confirmed, saying with almost a bit of exasperation, “Mom is always happy!”
I chuckled to myself quietly.
I started thinking about what it has taken to get me to the point where I would actually seem “always happy” to my sons, or anyone, for that matter.
I thought about the fact that my happiness is actually genuine, deep contentment, not a front I put on for my sons or anyone else.
I thought about the years of severe depression I suffered through and the sheer grit and determination over several more years that it took me to turn it around and get where I am today.
I thought about explaining to my sons just how I got here.
Explain the steps I had to take to be this way for them, for me, for this world.
Explain how excruciating it was down in the black abyss for years before I turned it around.
Before I clawed and scratched and fought my way back out of that abyss, fighting for my life, or rather, fighting to save their mother’s life…for them.
I marveled over the fact that my young, innocent sons really have no idea…yet…what I have accomplished for them, for us.
Then I wondered: perhaps I went through all of that suffering and anguish, living the victim of my own design for so many years, so I could pull out of it and be able to teach them how to reach true, lasting joy.
It’s a joy that needs constant focus to maintain. A level of self care that, for me, involves meditation, reflection and the constant repetition of the serenity prayer…sometimes hourly!
I surmised that my sons probably wouldn’t yet understand all of this.
But someday, they will.
Someday, when life starts dishing out real challenges to them, I will explain all of this.
I will explain to them that their spiritual connection to something beyond their physical and emotional world can serve as their rudder against the stormiest of seas.
I will tell them that fierce, gale winds blow on all of us.
It’s how we choose to set our sails that makes all of the difference.
I will teach them how to always find beauty in the darkness.
To never give up.
And someday, they will understand that the sweetest words to their ol’ mom’s ears are:
“My mom is always happy!”
© 2018 Elisa Fortise Christensen
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