The Heart of a Tiger


On the eve of my 58 birthday, I’m taking a moment out of all the usual ruckus to be grateful.  As I look back it seems simultaneously true that a) all this time could not possibly elapsed and b) so much living has taken place.

The center piece to most of these years has been my relationships with my three boys (now men) but always my boys. There can never be the exact words to convey the depth of my love for them and the gratitude I feel for the gift of shepherding each of them into the world.

When I began this journey of motherhood I hadn’t any idea of the challenges that I would meet.  I only thought of bed time snuggles, family vacations and birthday parties. I was naïve, romantic and mostly unconscious.  I didn’t see a future that would also include “all-nighters” at sick beds, endless preparation of meals, negotiating homework, hangovers (theirs not mine) etc.  But our lives together have been so intricate; punctuated with humor and hurt, anger and joy, distance and reconciliation AND so much else that’s hard to even categorize.  This intricacy though feels real, poignant and incredibly meaningful to me. It has, indeed, been my spiritual practice.

I believe I’ve done the best that I could.  Sometimes that “best” wasn’t very good. For that I am deeply sorry.  I know I have disappointed my sons , not been a good model, fallen short of my intentions.  For instance, I have always struggled with anxiety. Meeting them as a non-anxious presence continues to be my goal and my place of growth.  But I find these days that there is also room for self-acceptance and love…for me, for our family, for each of you. No one is perfect but we are all ENOUGH and that’s what matters the most.

If you haven’t gotten to this place of feeling ENOUGH in yourlives, I hope you will soon.  My birthday wish for all of you is that you can step outside whatever inner judgments you may hold to see the glorious, creative, brilliant and loving creations that you are…warts and blemishes included.

We must love ourselves with the heart of a TIGER!!

Bryan Voliton