I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FANTASY…
The Millennial Mom series explores the undercurrent of everyday suffering caused by ego and our unconsciousness regarding illusions. This tale is told in four parts: Myth, Descent, Darkness, and Light.
Listen to Darlene’s interview on the series with CBC’s Shift NB:
We unwittingly pursue happiness through perfection and the validation of others.
Life is not what we thought it was going to be. We feel alone and afraid, and to blame, for we are somehow not good enough. We run from our pain, and try to numb it out.
Our resistance to what is.
Only in leaning in to our suffering does our grief transform into the final chapter, where awareness and compassion lead us to find peace, acceptance and love.
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I originally thought this story was about other things. I thought it was about the emotional struggles and loneliness of marriage, when the “need” to earn a large income requires the absence accompanying professional travel. I thought it was about the choice to be a stay-at-home parent, and the painful realization that such a life was very much one of housework, lack of respect, financial strain and overwhelming drudgery. I thought it was about co-dependence, the failure to take responsibility for one’s own life, expecting a partner to rescue and protect one from life’s troubles. I thought it was perhaps about lack of perspective, and how the thoughts we choose can be incredibly destructive. But, it’s really about vulnerability — telling the truth, and allowing ourselves to be truly seen and loved for who we are.
Why is MM clothed as a superhero? In the beginning, as she struggles, she feels she needs to summon the strength of another, because she can’t do it all alone. Her childhood hero, DC Comics™’ Wonder Woman, is her role model, not only of strength, but of purpose, courage and wisdom. Imagining herself as powerful, she too can be a defender of peace and light in her struggle between truth and myth. As the narrative develops, MM becomes her own hero, a symbol of the eternal strength within us all. I also wanted to comment on societal pressure toward unreal ideals, as well as our mass turning-away from religion, leaving us with no source of strength to guide us in how to live, resulting in our searching for ideals in popular culture.
Drawing on settings and events from my own life, as well as references to popular music, fashion, and self-help and superhero cultures, I have attempted to lighten the narrative with humour, to acknowledge that although there is real pain here, these are the problems of the fortunate.
Most of the time, I recognize all pain lies in perception. If only I could maintain such awareness. I don’t have all the answers, but I am trying to be a better person. I continue to seek enlightenment, and wrestle with ego, with vulnerability, and with myth. With humility, I admit I am responsible for creating as much pain as I have felt myself. I trust divine guidance, as I seek understanding, with an open, and unguarded heart.
Millennial Mom’s story will not resonate with everyone, and may be misunderstood by many. But I hope you will look beyond my lack of technique here, to enjoy her. I love her deeply, as she represents the strongest, and most vulnerable parts of mothers everywhere. May you, too, find your way toward peace.