Do you ever read a blog post and just know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was written absolutely, totally and completely from the heart? I have. Many times, actually. Several of my bloggy buddies are just the kind of writers who are so completely open and honest in their writing that you can actually feel their pain, their joy, their sorrow. I love it when someone's writing grabs my heart and my mind and doesn't let go. Or perhaps it's that I don't want to let it go. Either way, it's good stuff.
I sometimes think that my writing is at its best when my heart is hurting the most. Terrible to think that I have to be in emotional turmoil in order to crank out something worth reading, but that's often the truth of the matter. In the two years that I've been blogging, I have written only a handful of posts that I consider to be truly decent prose. The kind that cuts deeply and bares the soul. Number one on that list is this one. I wanted, needed and was compelled write that. Sometimes that's just the way it is.
And then you have someone like Rachel. It seems that to write something touching and beautiful, Rachel requires only to get out of bed in the morning. Perhaps not even that. Perhaps she simply props herself with pillows, pulls out her laptop and proceeds to tap out the amazingly/simply/touchingly honest stories of her life each morning before her 7 children are up and about, ready to begin their days. I don't know how she does it. I only know that I love reading how she continues Finding Joy in everything she has and everything she does.
Rachel's post today is about life lessons. If there had been blogs all those years ago when I started my family and there had been someone like Rachel sharing her words of wisdom, I would like to think that I would have read them, taken them to heart and used the things she had learned through experience to better my own life. Contrary to what we think when we're young and ready to take on the world, we don't know everything and we don't always even know what's best. They say you can't learn from another person's mistakes, but I believe we can learn if only we really, truly listen. As in listen with your heart.
For instance, I wanted desperately to be a great mom. There was nothing I wanted more...ever. But I was young and still had a lot of growing up to do, so I definitely made mistakes. Patience was not my greatest virtue. I would worry and fret over what I now see as small stuff. Yes, I thought I knew everything, thought I knew what was best for me and for my family and that no one else could ever truly understand the things we had facing us. I may have been right and I may have been wrong. I'll never really know. But I do know that if back then I could have read Rachel's post from today, it would have definitely touched that place deep in my heart and I would have made these things my goals. Many years later, after divorce and remarriage, I was given another chance at this thing called motherhood. I had learned many lessons from that first time around and I'd like to think I'm doing a better job than I did all those years ago. I do know that I'm trying. And, every single day, I'm still learning. Life really is one big classroom.
Do yourself a favor. Read this post, especially if you have kids still at home. Or if you are thinking of having kids. Or if you have no intention of having kids but simply want to read some really good writing. Print it out. Hang it on your fridge. Read it every morning over breakfast. Share it with your spouse. Many of these things, I'm happy to say, I had already learned for myself. There are a couple I'm still working on and I suppose I'm happy to say that, too. That means I haven't given up hope of being the best I can be. ; )