I made a mistake….

It’s not the first time those words were buzzing in my head, but the process is always the same.

I give myself a mental beatdown. My mom always said I am WAY more harder on myself than anyone could ever be toward me, but that doesn’t make me feel better or the feelings easier to let go.

I let someone down….

It’s not that I am so wrapped up in what others think of me, but I am crushed by the thought of letting someone down.

If there is one word that is my achilles tendon, it is integrity. I could be criticized for many things, but to be doubted of my intention, will haunt me to no end.

I was indirectly questioned of my authenticity recently, by someone who knows me well and felt so insulted by it. It was about my work, my voice, my truth.

How dare they? I felt betrayed. but I felt firm and resolute, because I knew my heart and my truth.

Shortly after on a completely separate and unrelated incident, I was called out on some work I did that had a big error in it.

I made a mistake, an purely unintentional mistake, and this time my integrity is doubted. I am crushed that I let others down in such a huge way and it may cost me irrevocably.

How can I recover this time, when it’s not just my words in my head beating me up, but someone called out my mistake?

One word is my grace, intention.

All my life, I often prayed over my work, using a form of the scripture, I Chronicles 28.9:

And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. (NIV)

I always believed, that my intention was my grace, and GOD knew my heart’s intention. Even when the ground was crumbling below my feet in times of strife (which it has many, many times), that as long as God knew my heart, I could bear the weight of holding myself firm.

My heart=My intention

But this time, I am feeling shaky, and it’s harder to hold my chin up. Even when I know my heart was true in the midst of my mistake, I still beat myself up instead of letting this pass.

My daughter walks in as I am in the middle of trying to resolve the situation and sees me weeping and distraught. She leaves and comes back with a drawing of a fairy trapped in a jar she just drew from one of her favorite Tinkerbell movies. I am too preoccupied to see how beautifully wise she is. She is trying to rescue me.

Later, I remembered a quote from one of my favorite films, Scent of a Woman.

scent-of-a-woman_1992-2-736x416

“No mistakes in the tango, darling, not like life. It’s simple. That’s what makes the tango so great. If you make a mistake, get all tangled up, just tango on. —Lt. Col. Frank Slade

Emma checks on me later and sings “Don’t Worry, Be Happy’” by Bob Marley.

She is my greatest teacher, and now I want to cry at letting her down.

Before her I could be in this inner turmoil until I could bring myself back to solid ground. But now, as her mommy, I have to suck it up and move on, my heart open to GOD as it had before the mistake and tango on.

to be continued……

While digging through my movie collection recently I came across treasured B&W that belonged to my mother. It was one of her favorites.

I Remember Mama—1948, RKO Pictures/Warner Bros. Studios

mom_and_me

Today is the third Mother’s Day without her. Although it doesn’t sting as much to mention her name or think of her, my only saving grace is my memories that I loved most about her. Here are a just a few:

1. She had the softest skin. I can still recall the feel of her soft cheek as I would kiss her goodnight. It felt like I imagined butterfly wings drying in the sun.

2. She had the most beautiful handwriting. I can still recall how she would glide a pen across a page, each letter floating into the next. When I graduated from college, she wrote the most incredible note to me. She asked if she could keep it so she could type it out neatly because I wanted to frame it. She never got around to it. When I went through her belongings, that piece of paper was the only cherished thing I was desperate to find. I finally found it tucked in my graduation ceremony program. Even with the line-throughs and scratch outs, it was her most beautiful piece of her handwriting.

3. She folded towels so neatly. I know it’s a silly little thing, but it amazed me how well she could fold laundry. It was like a perfect cube when she finished. She was not one for housekeeping, but when she did, she did well.

4. She never wrapped my Christmas presents. She would stay up all night to arrange my presents under the tree, new outfits and toys all showcased like a Macy’s window display. Even though I prefer presents wrapped in my home, I remember how magical she made Christmas for me.

5. She was a voracious reader. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t arrive to find her reading at the kitchen table or call to her say she was reading. She read books so fast that they hardly looked opened. When she passed, I donated over 600 books from her collection to a local library. My mother’s love of reading is the greatest gift she gave me as a reader and now I am passing on to Emma.

I try to instill as much as I can of her spirit to Emma who will only know her from a photograph. I will never reach the grace she had, but I am grateful I had her as my Mom to show me how to try.

My mom was kind, and generous and always put me first, I could go on and on about her character. But it’s the little things, that were big things to me, and the things I most cherish the most and deeply miss about her.

Yes, I remember Mama.

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