I happened upon a intriguing quote. The wisdom was dispensed by none other than the one and only, Mother Theresa (in ONLY God knows what year...well, I guess the internet might also know)...and I don’t know why, but I keep wanting to call that saintly nun, Martha Stewart...who is (obviously) a totally different sorta gal.
I should probably clear the air now and confess that I’m not super sane today as I’m fighting a cold, a super sore throat and a VERY froggy, man(ish) sounding voice. As a kid, the thought of a horse, deep, scratchy, lady voice always seemed so sultry. Today, not so! Disappointingly, today, I’m just frog-man.
Being that I’m in a fairly compromised state; not my best mom-self and struggling to be lovely to not just my kids but the world at large, all this ‘not-so-sultry sick business’ made the quote (that I promise I’ll share) all the more gripping. The quote was this: “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family”.
Am I the only one who feels a sting in those saintly words?? Maybe the wounding is entirely unintended...who knows. But jeez, please tell me I’m not the only one who felt the piercing urge to search my soul!
In my heart of hearts, I believe every morsel of MT’s words. Strung together, it’s pure, unadulterated wisdom!!
But the noise of the world can be SO distracting. The messages that tell me to “do something great” and “be someone great”, “create” and “conquer”, they’re inundating, blaring and relentless. The thing is this: the pressure to “do” and “be” it isn’t a movement of rest and peace and contentment, confidence in self or wholeness. It’s a pronouncement of lacking and inadequacy.
The preoccupation with accomplishing great "stuff" isn’t an equal opportunity employer. It’s true and primary interest is with only certain types of contributions to society, like the kind that get recognition and applause. The voices that shout within us, “Carve a name out for yourself!!”, aren’t interested in the unseen, immeasurable, nameless, faceless sorts of investments in our world.
So, quite frankly, as an invisible, nameless, faceless contributor to society, I’m constantly feeling a tug to make myself (notably) more than what I currently am...MOM.
Reality is that along with our world undervaluing "hidden" contributions and "hidden" contributors, I add to the pile. Although I always wanted to be a ‘stay at home mom’, I never wanted motherhood to be ALL of me. I’ve always had additional dreams and interests; aspirations separate from motherhood. I’ve always seen myself as mother and...(fill in the blank). I certainly see nothing wrong with being a multifaceted or ambitious individual, but could it be possible that I’m less intentional with the most 'world changing' responsibilities of my day (motherhood) because I'm distracted by a longing to be "great"??
Am I a 'stay at home mom' who’s just biding my time till I can make a real difference in this world by founding a nonprofit to save other people's children or solve world hunger on some other continent?? Am I so focused on rescuing and aiding others that I’m not living motherhood out, acutely aware of my impact on the future generations that originate from within my own home?? Some days, yes...100% guilty!
For me, looking at the world through a glory hungry lens, hoping for recognition; a star on humankind’s “walk of fame” or longing for some sort of an audible applause is a constant temptation. But it’s also a complete distraction from what matters most. Ego is a rather ravenous beast, constantly growling for a feeding, never full and never satisfied.
I don’t want to reduce my role or my impact on my kids to glorified babysitter by forfeiting intention for position. Changing the world starts at home; It starts with me...one kid at a time...or 4 (in my case). Thank you Mother Theresa for the brilliant reminder!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.