Stepfamily life has its challenges and struggles. But honestly what family unit, relationship (personal or professional) doesn’t have its challenges? In these moments of challenge is where we have the opportunity to shed our skin and grow, but that’s usually easier said than done. Believe me, I’ve been there. Over and over again and consider myself a work in progress while I’m learning the lessons. Each moment, each interaction allows me to look at how I may be adding to the drama or refraining from it. I read a wonderful quote the other day that I’d like to share:
“It is okay to be at a place of struggle. Struggle is just another word for growth. Even the most evolved beings find themselves in a place of struggle now and then. In fact, struggle is a sure sign to them that they are expanding; it is their indication of real and important progress. The only one who doesn’t struggle is the one who doesn’t grow. So if you are struggling right now, see it as a terrific sign – celebrate your struggle.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
What if we could shift our focus from something being a struggle to instead being a moment of expansion? So often we get caught up in the negativity of a situation and we lash out, or worse disengage, with those closest to us. This may temporarily put a band-aid on the struggle we’re facing, but ultimately won’t help us move through it.
What if all of the little things that have the potential to irritate us daily could be discarded with the evening trash? What if we recognized all the beautiful lessons that come to us, especially through our loved ones and all the daily interactions, instead of being annoyed and frustrated with how we thought things should unfold. We are most comfortable and vulnerable with those closest to us, which typically means we are capable of being the cruelest when we are moving through something difficult.
Stepfamily life allows for much growth as there are many opportunities for expansion. As a stepmom, I’ve had my number of personal and relationship struggles to move through. Mostly all self-inflicted due to a fear-based mentality and an adopted rigidity to coexist in the blended unit (which by the way, I don’t recommend as a means of coping). Some I had more grace than others when handling them. It’s said that the lessons we need to learn most will keep showing up until we learn them. From one stepmom to another you will at some point see light at the end of the tunnel and feel a small victory. When you do – celebrate it! Celebrate the little things and know nothing is static and that change is inevitable. We are all human and we all make mistakes, but in these mistakes are moments of vulnerability and growth if we’re willing to see and own them.
Next time your stepchild leaves their light on, leaves their dirty dishes laying around, has piles of clothes littering their room, or whatever the annoyance may be, try to step back and see it as an opportunity for your growth instead of an annoyance. You can only control your emotions and reactions, and wouldn’t you rather be a peaceful example, rather than being the nagging one? I can confidently say you’ll feel better if you choose this approach as you let yourself off the hook.
Let go of the inner struggles and focus on the happy you. You know that one that you may be lost sight of. I’m here to tell you she’s still there and she wants to come out and play.
Go shine your light, beauty.
Chrysta is a Certified Stepfamily Coach, a stepmother of two and a mother of one infant. Her approach is holistic, supported by certifications as a health and Ayurvedic wellness coach and yoga instructor. She enjoys music, writing, hiking, healthy food, wine, and travel. She lives with her family in Los Angeles. Connect with Chrysta at instantblendedfamily.com.