Q. I love my kids, but I feel like such a failure since I am often irritable and stressed. I am not living up to the picture I have of the ‘perfect mum’ – the mum who is always happy, loves baking and is able to keep the house tidy and beautiful, whilst also providing for her kids financially. What can I do to feel more at peace? I have tried to meditate but never really manage to find the time as everything else just gets in the way.
Cissi: Thank you for your question, which is a very common dilemma in our fast-paced society where there seems to be a constant shortage of inner peace and time. Why? Because we get caught in the rat race of striving towards that ‘perfect’ picture of how life should be. The problem with striving towards this ‘perfection’ is that we can never reach it. It is an illusion created by the ego causing us to never be happy with what is, ensuring we can’t connect with the bliss that is present in the eternal now – the only place where the ego does not exist. The ego lives in time (which is also an illusion), so it lives in the past and the future, constantly worrying about something, filled with anxiety and fear, making you believe that you are not good enough just the way you are. Instead it causes you to think that if you could just achieve that ‘something more’ that is a little bit better, so a bigger house, a better job, a better partner, and of course that you live up to the idea of the ‘perfect you’ – well, then and only then can you be so happy that you can actually relax and be at peace – in the now.
Since we can never achieve this illusory perfection, we continue to strive towards an impossible goal. That is without doubt a recipe for unhappiness, and then we wonder why we feel so miserable and stressed?
The moment we disconnect with the now – the only time that actually exists – we lose ourselves in the world of thought, being upset about something in the past, or worrying about the future, and when we do this we listen to the ego’s frightened voice that keeps whipping us into action, forcing us to move forward. But forward towards what? The ego’s path will always take us into an even deeper despair, because the ego is our inner fear telling us we are small, insignificant and unworthy, and that the only way to be worth something is to achieve outside success. Who wouldn’t feel awful when they believed that?
In contrast, another loving voice exists in the eternal now, and we can hear it when we relax into the present moment. This is the voice of our soul, our divine eternal self, and I can guarantee that your soul doesn’t care how tidy your house is, or if you live up to the image of ‘the perfect mum’. The only thing your soul cares about is how much love you are able to express in each moment. When you are stressed and more focused on everything that needs doing, you close down, making it harder for you to let love flow through you. Instead, fear and stress now have you in their grip.
Of course you love your children – and this deep love is always there – but which aspect of you shows up in your meetings with them? The part that listens to the voice of love, or the version of you that listens to the fearful voice of the ego? In other words, are you letting love flow through you to your children, or are you letting stress and fear flow through you to them?
In every moment in life you have two choices: love or fear. When you choose fear you create more conflict. When you choose love you become a conduit for happiness to flow through you to others. We are all presented with these two choices several times per day, and since we are all human, when stress fills our thoughts it is easier for us to choose fear, since our mind reacts automatically with the energy it has within it at that moment – and stress and fear go together. When we instead are peaceful, we can more easily make love our choice, since love and peace exist together.
How can you make sure your mind is filled with peace so you can choose love more easily? By prioritising giving yourself sacred time every day, so you connect with the eternal now. You can fill this sacred time with activities that help you feel your inner joy, love, happiness and peace, such as practising yoga, meditating, praying, singing mantras, painting, dancing, playing music, going for a walk in nature, cuddling with a cat, playing with a dog, hugging your children – it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it helps you slow down, let go of your thinking and connect with your inner natural state of wellbeing that always exists in the present moment.
In this stillness you feel great, in this stillness your love is flowing, in this stillness you are embraced by your higher consciousness, and in this embrace you experience how you are good enough just the way you are, and you realise that you are doing the best you can, with the resources you have available at this time.
We are all human, we can all get stressed, we all have bad days, and we all sometimes lose our cool. That is okay. The question here is not, “Why did I not realise this before?” since that question causes us to focus on our ‘failure’ in the past. A much better attitude instead is “Let me experience the love and happiness that is within me right now, at this moment,” and then just let yourself be held by the higher divine consciousness that exists within you. When you do this – by giving yourself sacred time every day – you will be able to meet your children more often from this place of your higher consciousness, and that is the best gift you can give them. It doesn’t mean you will never get stressed or irritable again, but it does mean you will become aware of it more quickly, so you can shift your focus. You can make another choice, and this time you can choose love. Why would you not prioritise that in your life? Why would everything that ‘gets in the way’ be more important than you taking time to develop your ability to make love your choice? It is enough to just give yourself 10-30 minutes per day of sacred time for you to be able to shift your energy into a higher, more loving frequency.
The more you learn to choose love – even whilst living in our stressful society – the easier it will be for your children to make that same choice when they get older. At the moment they are just kids, so they naturally choose love, but the older they get the more they have to learn how to make love their choice. So isn’t it great if they have seen how their mum has been able to make the shift from fear to love, from stress to inner peace? That is something the ‘perfect mum’ could never teach her kids, since she is already ‘perfect’ and therefore never gets stressed.