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When Life Wants To Teach You How To Love

In my new book, The Muse In You – Embracing Creativity To Overcome Life’s Difficulties that will be coming out soon, I share a personal story of having gone through four miscarriages and three failed IVFs.

I consciously decided to replace bot being able to have a baby with creativity. For certain, it was another kind of life force. I was even asked to speak on a panel about this topic. You can see it here if this subject interests you: Making The Choice To Live Childfree After Infertility.

BUT you might be thinking—wait a minute! You have a stepchild, don’t you?

Indeed! Fast forward seven years, and I now have a six year-old stepson. And it’s the absolute biggest surprise that ever could have come into my life.

Isn’t life grand? When you think something is going to be a certain way, when you’re so definite about it, when you just think you are SO sure.  And then, life has something else in store for you. Something bigger and more vast than you’re limited mind could ever grasp?

Never in my right mind did I think I would end up having a child in my life. When I first met my current husband and found out he had a son, I have to admit,  I was worried. All the same old fears came up.

But, the minute I met Sam I knew the instant joy he would bring to my life. Sam, like his father, is SUPER creative. He’s funny, and smart, and sensitive. Each day is filled with his desire to make something. (Most of the time it involves a power tool, which his father supports him in using.)

And although, there are days where it can be tough, where I question my own abilities to help raise a child, where my anxieties of being able to manage parenting along with taking care of my career and myself can seem unmanageable, I am grateful, eternally grateful, for the love shared between all of us.

I’ve learned parenting is all about allowing the flow. (If you’re a parent or a stepparent, I’m sure you know.)

Each day is a new experience and you never know what you’ll get. In the moments when  he’s acting up I remind myself from experience that I know this will change in 30 minutes.

And it does. Just like our own adult emotions. Just like our own daily troubles . . . they’re fleeting.

In these difficult moments I intend to get kinder, gentler, more sweet . . . I have to. I intend to be an example.

I’m using my experience with Sam as an illustration of a truth that’s important for all of us :

When you get in a stuck spot, a moment of being unkind to yourself, a moment of negativity when you think life sucks, when you think that it won’t change, or you get down and gloomy. . .

Act as if you were taking care of yourself like a child: become gentle. Be more loving. Have stronger boundaries, but with love. Show your heart. To yourself, to those you love.

I see now that really my only job is to love and be a part of the crew that’s on a mission to help this beautiful child make good decisions and grow up with values. I hope I’m a good influence.

All upset changes in 30 minutes, if I let it. And that’s true with my six year-old stepson and with me.

Even though we’re adults, we throw our own temper-tantrums, our need to be seen, get attention, and acknowledgment, and a wish someone would hold a strong loving container for us.

I find myself saying this all the time now:

I hear you. I love you. I understand. Everything will be okay.

I say this to myself, not only to Sam. I’m a better person because of it. He’s taught me more about how to better love others and myself. And boy, do I love him so much!

Wishing you joy, love and surprises in your life!

 

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Lynn Newman