Skip to main content

Mostly Good...

I have thought a lot about a defining moment. Heard people talk about them. Watched light bulbs go on over other people's head. Had some go on over my own head, but not in a life-changing way. As usual, I guess I set my standards so high that perhaps I've missed many defining moments along the way.

Defining moment is sort of limiting, anyway. One instance that gets to frame who you are? I mean in biblical terms, when God appears and says, "YOU ARE GOING TO PART THE RED SEA," yes, that would certainly be a defining moment. But God has never yelled at, or to me. He whispers, nudges, plays jokes, leads me to books and parking spaces, and if I didn't believe in Him so fervently I would probably shrug off those moments as coincidences.

Even the revelations I do have can hardly be called revelations. I simply wake up one day and think, "OH! Why didn't I realize that?" All very anti-climactic in terms of defining moments. However, all of these moments help me see myself more clearly. This weekend I tried to explain to my heartbroken teenager that pain is what makes you grow. That through suffering, you develop empathy and depth and compassion. You learn your limits, your strengths and weaknesses, sometimes you shine and sometimes you curl up in the fetal position and sob, and all of that is okay in that moment.

In that moment though, even as I talked to her, I had realized that my limit is one of my children being hurt. I wasn't feeling empathy or compassion. Nope. I felt rage. Rage that my baby was in pain. Rage that I couldn't fix it. Rage that someone would stomp on her precious heart. Rage, rage, rage...light bulb. All these years, all these self-help books, all these hours upon hours of introspection, and awareness exercises, and living mindfully, and there I was--the person I'd worked so hard not to be.

Then God, in His sneaky way, spoke right through Chloe and said, "Mom, you always taught me that the good should outweigh the bad." And I knew I had to let go of the anger and forgive the person who hurt her. And then, for the first time I can remember, I was able to forgive myself, too. I was able to look at the person I am: the good, the bad, the past and the present and realize that yes, I have a quick temper and an almost pathological aversion to dirt. I could own the fact that I have a drastically low tolerance for ignorance and the mouth of a truck driver. I will admit that all three of my kids talking at the same time makes me want to jump out of a window. And even taking all that into consideration, I can still say that I am mostly good.


  1. My God's always been a bit more Old Testament. Ya know, with the smiting and the plagues and the locusts.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Before and After

We all have defining moments...instances when something happens--good or bad--and you know from that point forward you'll measure your life in terms of before and after that event. Of course there are sometimes more than one, but there is nearly always one.

For me, it was my brother's death. February 5, 1989. There have been others. A dear friend's death in 1992. Another brother died in 1997. My dad died in 2011. But February 5, that was the one for me.

I started to think of and look at things in terms of before Chris died and after.

Before Chris died, I believed in magic. In God. In miracles. After, I believed that you should never let yourself get too comfortable or trust happiness because it would be ripped away from you.

Before Chris died, I often felt special and love and cherished. For too long after, I felt pretty worthless.

Before Chris died, I believed that I was brave and strong. After he died, I felt weak and afraid when I needed to be brave and strong.

Before …