Living an Imperfect Life in an Imperfect World Perfectly
INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris
Ever feel like you are living an imperfect life in an imperfect world perfectly?
Today was one of those days.
It started with sleeping through my alarm, and boy can things go downhill from there.
But what’s interesting is it doesn’t go downhill for everyone in the same way.
When I slept in by accident, I woke up with a jolt and had a quick panic, enough to get my adrenaline running. I flew through my regular morning routine determined to get myself and everyone else out on time. And I nearly succeeded. Until that is when one child awakes with an alarming jolt as well, but instead of assessing the damage after a quick panic and gets moving, said child has a complete panic attack setting them into overwhelm and paralyzation. Said child is so consumed by the grief of being woken up late that the child is incapable of moving at all, literally and emotionally.
Trying to be helpful and moving them through their tasks seems to be not only futile but quite hindering at best.
With my husband’s help we divide our attention among the neediest and the tasks to be done and get everyone out the door.
How does he manage to get the paralyzed child unstuck? Distraction mainly I think, but also a tremendous amount of patience on his part for the intense emotions exuded from the child.
I wasn’t paralyzed by my own waking late, but I was paralyzed by my child’s own inability to get it together. However, I will pat myself on the back that I did not engage in their tirade. If I couldn’t stay calm, I stayed away, in the face of the storm. Perhaps not the most noble of actions I could have taken, however, certainly not the worst. And I think we are both the better for it. I managed not to say anything I regretted later.
Amazing isn’t it though? I was so quick to assess and get moving in the face of the late hour. But in the face of my child’s inability I became paralyzed emotionally.
What could I have done differently? Not sleep through my alarm, yes that would be quite helpful;) but in reality there are always things that will overwhelm and paralyze us. We do not live in bubbles, where everything goes perfectly all the time, never with a bump or ripple in the fabric of our lives. Rather these intense moments are the most sacred grounds, for they are the moments of great self awareness and development.
We can’t create safe spaces 24/7 where we will never feel hurt, anger, sadness, pain or overwhelm. That is not how G-d created the world. In that same vein, we are not expected to be perfect either. Hashem created us imperfectly to manage in an imperfect world all while trying to perfect ourselves, but not expecting perfection.
Sounds like a tall order. But what job of a mother is there except to help mold their young? Ah but there is indeed another job, as I need to continue to mold myself.
Perhaps next time, as I’m sure as the rising sun, there will be another such time, I will experiment and try to engage. No, not in the tirade, but with a calm affection.
We are not all alike and we each respond differently in different situations.
We grin and bear as much as we can and then sometimes if all else fails, we walk away. But if we treated these moments as always a learning experience, then perhaps next time we may not need to walk away, rather, tread carefully on sacred ground. #livingimperfectly