by Shannon MacLaggan
CONFESSION. Last year, my beautiful son—with permanent marker—wrote ALL OVER his bedroom wall. And I mean, everywhere. The whole bloody wall. Ruined. Wrecked. Totally horrible looking.
And I am ashamed to say that I seriously lost it.
Like ... who is this bat shit crazy person thats screaming and swearing and crying and scaring me ... lost it. It was bad.
It had already been a terrible week. Migraines. No sleep. Lots of toddler tantrums and general defiance from my crew.
I had just reached my boiling point and in that moment, unfortunately, I reacted terribly.
Here I am—Prana Parenting, Mindful Mama—and I reacted as thoughtlessly and mindlessly as possible.
And not only did I scare my littles, but I scared myself as well.
I realized that I have all of the capacity in the world to be kind and considerate. And I also have to capacity to lose my cool and succumb to an angry and resentful version of myself.
A side of me that I spend a lot of time pretending doesn’t exist.
And I believe—to some extent—we all do.
I think a lot of us are hiding.
This is something I struggle with, especially, online.
Many people are purposely projecting a life, an image, a package that is fictional—one sided and inauthentic.
And I think most folks are getting pretty tired of seeing the perfect version of everyone else. I think the edited, social media versions of ourselves—the enhanced images people portray of themselves—are starting to get pretty exhausting.
It’s deeply, deeply polarizing. It’s creating a gap.
This is something I’ve wrestled with in my own life, offline and online.
We’re not meant to be perfect.
I’m human and you’re human, too.
But somehow, in the midst of figuring out how to live, we’ve become scared to truly show ourselves and all of our vulnerabilities and failures.
When I over reacted and screamed at my middle child—my sweet, sweet boy—my world stopped.
And there was an opportunity to expand.
I softened and asked my child for forgiveness. I tried to explain all the emotional complexity that comes with being alive. I came clean. And amidst my vulnerability, I forgave myself, too.
The choice to be honest in these moments—moments of anger, resentment, pain, selfishness or fear—lifts the veil of perfection and gives us permission to change.
Our mistakes give us empathy.
When we share our shadows with one another, we shed light on them. We bring spaciousness and acceptance to a scared and lonely heart.
I did some serious self reflection after my meltdown—I journaled, I meditated, I worked it out on my yoga mat. I know that I have grown from it and I hope that it won't happen again.
I'm learning and changing every day and I still want them to see the tangled and complex side of me. I want them to see the messiness, the tears, the lessons. The journey.
I want them to know that its okay to come undone—as long as we put it back together and learn from our mistakes. That there's beauty in the undoing. It opens the door to new beginnings.
And I want you to see it.
It’s really, really important to me that you see it, too.
I am just like you.
You and I, we are the same.
UNION. UNITY. ONE.
We are the same, mama.
No one has it all together.
No one has it all figured out.
When it comes to something so infinitely variable and divinely complex like life and parenting there are no experts.
We are all just here.
Each of us so vastly different and beautiful in our uniqueness, and yet so clearly wandering and drifting down this wondrous and mysterious path together.
Fumbling towards freedom yet free to be who we are.
Sharing our mistakes—walking this path in truth—will set us free to fumble, grasp, seek and hope ... together.
The more we open, the more we share, the smaller the gap between us becomes.
Be brave enough to show yourself.
Cause we're all in this together. We truly are.
Shannon MacLaggan is a yoga and meditation teacher, studio owner and mindful mama, trying to live simply and with heartfelt intention, parenting three wild and free children in rural Ontario, Canada. You can find Shan at www.pranaparenting.com, where she helps mothers bring the beauty, calm and clarity from their spiritual practice into their journeys as whole hearted parents.