I have always loved my parents. Even during my angsty-est of angsty years, I loved them in a way that my rebellious teenaged soul couldn't resist.
But what's been awesome to learn over the past year especially?
I actually like my parents.
I spent so much time running and pushing and aching to grow, be free and fly that I neglected to stop and cherish the quiet moments of pleasant stillness offered by time spent with them. I don't think this is a particularly uncommon path for parent-child relationships. This is not a ground breaking story; girl grows up and relationship with mom and dad evolves to a more mature and peaceful place. I'm just glad I've learned (before 30!) the balance between continuing to push, grow, be free and fly and coming back to cherish and nurture my roots. Both are important sides of life.
I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to sit in front of the fire place at home, watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory with them, munching on brownies and milk and just be...content. And happy. And not wondering what everyone else is doing or itching to go out and adventure on my own. Being with them is fulfilling enough when I choose to see that time as equally as worthy as all the rest; when I change my perspective and practice gratitude for moments I may otherwise take for granted.
It feels great to realize that often times when I felt I wasn't being supported for a certain decision it was because I approached them with said decision already projecting that they wouldn't approve. I made assumptions. I set the energy. I manifested the result. How is anyone supposed to get behind you when you yourself are doubting? Do you feel you are capable of handling this decision? Are worthy of it? Or are there insecurities you are masking and hoping to hide? When you approach others with a degree of confidence--even if that confidence lies in the knowledge that eventually you'll figure out the areas of "unsure"--I think you'll be amazed to see how much faster folks will get on your side.
My parents and I still have varying differences of opinion in many areas of life. But that's OK. We're all adults and can respect these differences; there's no need for a clash when there can be a dialogue instead. I can only control my own actions and must release that desire for control over the rest. Parents are humans, too. This was, admittedly and slightly embarrassingly, a huge revelation for me. They are partners and daughters and coworkers and friends in addition to being your parents. They have their own suffering, too. They have their own insecurities. They approach life just as you do--from their own level of understanding and consciousness. See them through eyes of love and understanding of this humanness, and you will see them in a whole new light.
I know not everyone gets to be around their parents. I also know some child-parent relationships are wrought with a level of true darkness that requires much more than a few good thoughts to heal. This time of year especially is a pretty big reminder of that. So today (and every day I'm back in good ol' NJ) I'm focusing the majority of my gratitude on my mom and dad and the gifts of their support, love and (sometimes slightly eye-roll with a side of "yes ma, I know" enducing) guidance. I've said it before and I'll say it again--I have never doubted that they would go to the end of the earth and back again for me. How fortunate am I?
My parents apparently are pretty rad people.