Corrupt verb \kə-ˈrəpt\ : to cause (someone or something) to become dishonest, immoral, etc. : to change (something) so that it is less pure or valuable.
It was shown to me, during a very dark period in my life that the best thing I can do for my children is to be good to me. This stood in contrast to all I had ever known. But as this message came by way of divine intervention, I chose to trust instead of question. And from that moment a large part of my life’s purpose was defined.
You see, for quite a long time, I had been operating under the belief that my job on earth was to raise my children. I did not value myself, so much. Instead, I valued them far more than I valued me. It sounds noble. It sounds like the perfect act of love. But for those who believe in God the father, it’s a skewed premise. If God is the father, then all of us are his children. All of us are of value. My life was not one meant to be of service to my children. If anything, I was doing my children a disservice by not placing more value on me.
Children learn by way of example. So love me. By watching, and by falling under the shadow of a life well-lived, children know to do the same. These were the words given to me. I listened. It is the same guidance I now give others. To God, we are all of value. We are the embodiment of beauty. But it is for us to seek out and find joy. Joy is a singular, personal thing. Our children learn to seek by first watching our search. So seek I did. And seek I do.
It was revealed to me that up until then I was showing my children a slow suicide of sorts. My smile did not emerge from internal joy. It was done out of duty to my children. But children feel the energy that we work to hide. Wherein I thought the large home filled with all they had asked was a testament to my parental dedication, it was shown to me that I hadn’t even started parenting yet. I’m thankful for the depths of my depression, back then. I broke open. And when I did I got real with God and God got real with me. The best thing you can do for your children is to live and live well. It is not selfish. It is by watching you love your life that they will one day do the same.
It is much like the necessity of placing the oxygen mask on one’s self so that they are able to help others do the same. God did not place you here out of hopes that you would sacrifice the divine thing that is you. Put your oxygen mask on. The universe is waiting for you to inhale, dear reader. Breathe deep.
On a recent car ride my son broke the silence by talking about his hopes in a bride one day. I sat quiet. I allowed him the ease of speaking without my interrupted words. He then said, “I hope to find a woman who has a mind much like your ’s mom. It seems like no matter what life has thrown at you, it’s never corrupted you.” My heart swelled. Tears filled my eyes. It seems I’ve done something right. Oh yes, life has thrown a good deal my way. But I don’t hide life. And no longer do I deny my own joy. There is no trophy awarded us as parents. If ever there were, I would graciously decline. The only things I want sitting on my shelf are pictures; not just of them, but also of me. I want to see that I raised us all to live well. Each of us is here to experience a joy that is singular to us, defined by us. Go find your joy, dear reader. By doing so, you are parenting. You are showing those that are watching that they can do the same. Trust me.
To all those that are raising others.