Had another fun evening with the kids. Actually, I had a magnificent day all around. And the brilliance of this day is that it helped solidify a few thoughts that have been bouncing around my head for a few weeks. To quote the late Joan Rivers “Can we talk?”
A few things in the past couple of weeks have threatened my psyche. Having learned from past mistakes I know that the thing to do is NOT to get down. Rather, the thing to do in these situations is to take time out and not do anything at first, save to pray over what I’m going through. I have had, in the past, moments when, out of frustration, I have thrown my hands up and allowed myself to get into a mood, an air of discontent. What I’ve been able to learn is that I am in control of how I feel. No one should have that power over another. If something is not going right I need to just let it go and then find a way to rectify not the problem but my role in it, and then move forward. What I have discovered is something I ought to have been able to recognize from the beginning; but too often the beautiful things around us are obscured by the pain we let grip us.
Recently I have dealt with the realization that sometimes our “friends” are not the people we thought they were. This one’s tough because the energy I put into relationships is over-the-top. So I step back and think about it. Maybe I go too much into a friendship and that’s not always what someone else is looking for. What kills me is that I know that I cannot mask my emotions. Never been able to. Others have told me they admire that inherent honesty in me. I, on the other hand, hate that I can’t simply be alone with my hurt pride until it’s gone. I’ve come face-to-face with the ugly reality that my judgment is not always so reliable. And this is OK. We’re not perfect and maybe that’s what bothers me in these moments. I strive too much for perfection. I want to be that best friend, the master teacher (at work), the confidant or awesome brother or whatever. In prayer and especially with the Gospel I take comfort knowing that I don’t have to be anything more than what I’ve been called to be where I’ve been called to be it.
However, this time, instead of finding myself with a jumbled ball of anger, hurt, and confusion in my hands not knowing what to do with it, I have been blessed to recognize who the constants in my life truly are — the ones who are always with me in spirit and who will always love me and look to me with kindness simply because I am me.
If you read yesterday’s post you know that I was given an opportunity at work today to take over the school’s social media. I started out the day a bit nervous but quickly realized I was having way too much fun. In stepping into this role I kept feeling this sense of comforting reassurance that these incredible young men and women who all look up to me are some of the folks who love me and who value my presence in their lives. I love them right back and can’t imagine my life without them. Today was a wonderful chance to see that and experience it in a beautiful and fun way.
Coming home I picked up my kids from my mother-in-law. She had been watching them while my wife ran some errands. There was just something about our crazy, hectic evening tonight. We laughed, we put down some squabbles, I cooked dinner and we ate together. These two, even more so, reminded me how special I am to them. Again, the feeling’s more than mutual. At work we watched a documentary that featured a young man of 20 who was being reunited with his dad. The dad had walked out for ten years. I turned to my students and, pausing the video, got angry for a moment. “I could not even begin to imagine not seeing my children for ten years!” But I need them as much as they seem to need me. Their love for me shown in the simple gesture of a kiss at the door when I walk in or an excited description of what was learned at school today. This is everything I need to remember God’s love for me. So they’re my constants. They’re always here for me.
I hate sounding selfish. Who does this guy think he is? But the truth is that I think we all need to feel that special love and yes, sense of being needed from others every now and then. At least I do. And that’s why these past few weeks have been such a blessing. Thanks be to God for helping me see it differently this time and thanks be to my constants for being so constant.