I was talking to a co-worker the other day. We were lamenting our lots in life and I said something really bad. In response to, I don’t even remember what, I said, “At least, you’re not stupid.” I was saying, in an unthinking moment, that I consider myself stupid for having ten kids. I don’t know about you, but often I say things I really don’t mean. It’s as if some thought comes in my mind, for instance, a thought that I probably think someone else’s thinking about me, and then I express it as if it were my own. I confess I let that happen a lot. I am my own worst enemy sometimes. Happily, I am trying to quit, thanks to Pink. She encourages me when I hear her lyrics from “Perfect”: Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead.
I went to bed the other night with this regret on my mind. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, does it? But, ya know, it is. I don’t want my kids thinking I think I was stupid having them all. Maybe I bit off more that I could chew – heck, so did Frank Sinatra – but, I emphatically don’t regret it.
For the record, this is what I was thinking then…..and now. First, I loved having babies. I loved the idea of a big family with kids running all over the house. We started our family with that in mind. I delighted in their personalities, their interactions with each other (well, the positive one,s at least). I know things didn’t work out according to the dream; but, despite the difficulties in the detour, I know “all things work for good”.
Second, I believe in a simple life. I didn’t think they needed all the latest gadgets since they were content playing in the mud or building forts or rebuilding broken computers. And, for the record, we probably ate healthier when we had little money (there were some very lean times)…..well, except for the cookies and the Twinkie Store stuff.
Third, I cannot imagine my life without any one of them. Each one has enriched my life and given me a unique joy. Each is a different facet of the beautiful jewel I call my family.
There is a bible verse, Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips, that I often remind myself of; however, I need a guard over my thoughts, a first guard, if you will. Before I put my foot in my mouth, I need to check to see if what I am expressing is really something I believe. And when I do say things I don’t mean, it helps to express the truth forcefully like I did above to clear my mind, to even understand why and ultimately know myself more. It is time to retract the thoughts I’ve allowed in my mind that I don’t believe, that I don’t agree with, that harm others, that harm myself. It’s time to trust the true thoughts and dispel the false ones.