On Father’s Day, my dad suggested watching Into the Wild. It’s a true story about a young man who is disgusted with his dysfunctional family and disillusioned with society. He breaks all ties and embarks on a quest. Many a young person has set out on such a quest. I did. I wanted to break free from old childhood wounds. I wanted to run wild and free.
During pregnancy, I began thinking about my childhood and what I wanted for my daughter. I found myself excavating old wounds and crying on my husband’s shoulder. While his doublespeak and reflectiveness were not what I was looking for, he helped me to realize that blaming my parents or society was not serving me, that, as an adult, I needed to take control of and move forward in my life—instead of dragging the past around like a ball and chain. When I looked down, I saw that there were others, many of my own device. And, I, like Houdini.
On this journey of motherhood, I have wriggled out of many a chain. But I realized that I am not a supermom. I believe that it is an illusion. As much as we try, we cannot possibly be Ideal parents. My childhood was not ideal…but it was good. It was enough. We cannot be everything for each other. My parents couldn’t be everything for me. My partner can’t be everything for me. And, as much as I yearn to, I can’t be everything for my daughter. We each have our own life path, our own search for meaning and reconciliation. Sure we influence each other, but we can’t fulfill each other completely.
Oh, there are days. Days when I look down, and there’s that ball and chain again, with my initials carved into it. I can envision an ideal and am very hard on myself when I see those chains there—again! Know what I mean?!
We can’t fulfill each other, because we’re already whole. We’ve just forgotten. We must forgive ourselves and move again towards awareness. We all do our best with what we’ve got. The more we connect with each other, the more we “get.” We are not really separate.
“Driven by the force of love, the fragments of the world seek each other that the world may come into being.” Tiellhard de Chardin