I let something go down a few days ago that had me kicking myself for my inability to stand up for myself and defend myself as the hardworking, knowledgeable, resourceful, experienced, well-read and wise woman that I am. I was angry at myself for giving up my power. I was angry at myself for the incredibly inane act of actually giving someone fodder with which to criticize me in my misguided (and just flat wrong) attempts to be agreeable and, well, liked. And angry at the person too even though he/she wasn't doing anything I didn't allow.
I'm constantly doing work to better myself as a person and a mother. I read a lot. I meditate a lot. I chant. It's a priority to me and I'm open to advice and instruction. I just always need to bear in mind that no one knows better than me (and I will *know* best if I just stay in touch with my gut, my true self).
Anyway, after a couple of days, I am finally grateful for the experience. It served as a gentle reminder to myself that I still have a lot of work to do in the area of communication. One of my best friends has been studying non-violent communication for a long time and this was finally the experience that I needed to make me realize that I need something to help me learn how to communicate in a way that's effective yet non-violent. I recognize that many of my communication issues stem from my childhood and the way I was raised. I feel myself tense when there's a possibility that a discussion will lead to flared tempers or hurt feelings and so I recoil and get passive (with strangers or folks who don't know me very well) or I get very defensive and lash-out (with those I'm closest to). I want to express my needs without worrying about others reactions because I know that I'm conveying what I feel without accusing or projecting. And that's a challenging thing to do.
On another note, recently at my altar, I've been reading the book Buddhism for Mother's by Sarah Napthali. This book is really a good one for me. For some reason, I've been unable to incorporate ideas (or I've been inconsistent about doing so) from other books regarding integrating Buddhism into daily life but not the case with this one. It is surprisingly accessible and I'm really enjoying it. The last topic I covered was anger and on a few occasions, I've been able to watch my anger and figure out beneficial ways to handle it. The other day, I had just put a fresh diaper on Z1 getting him ready for be and he took it off. We were already running late and I just wanted to get them into bed. Ordinarily, I would have flown into a rage (tired, frustrated, etc) . . . but this time, I was able to just acknowledge my anger, acknowledge that it was frustrating and just to put on the diaper with love and keep it moving. In the grand scheme of things, really, it wasn't a big deal. Certainly not big enough to let anger ruin the whole evening.
Another surprising by-product of this book is that I've been honoring the Buddha(s) more. It's amazing how so many of his words ring true even in this day and age.