If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
More and more I’m leaning towards leaving my children alone. I am no longer standing in the way of their freedom. They are free to develop, discover, learn and interact at their own will. I’m trusting my children in their natural instincts and better judgements in knowing what it is they are wanting. My parenting is radically different now compared to what it may have looked like fifteen years or so ago. I too, are radically different now. The more I allow myself to flow into the ease of life, the easier life is becoming. There is no longer any one story i am endeavouring to fit into or trying to make my children fit into whether they are wanting or not. There is no direction that has been set before us that we are wanting to follow, that feels right anymore. This story we are creating is new. The way we are moving is new. We are walking a path that few are walking, and we are alright with that. We are unafraid, and faithful to ourselves and to our journey. Maybe there in lies the answer to contented happiness. More of trusting life to happen and allowing it to flow, welcoming whatever arises rather than pushing against and struggling in what comes about. Even the seemingly negative experiences can be blessings if we open to their messages. My children were not born to conform in this world as it is before us now, that i am certain of. I too have resisted for most of my life to agree and go along quietly with ideas and ways that innately have not felt like the right way. Maybe that is why they chose me to be their mother. But ultimately, it has been the determination of my children’s Will to not bend themselves towards people or experiences that they innately know will not serve them well, that has bought us to where we are standing now. I find myself questioning everything, especially things that rise resistance in us or simply just don’t feel right. I am listening to them in their no’s as it holds as much power as what they are saying yes to. And i want them to know from the beginning of their lives what they say yes and no to in life, matters. They are not here to simple follow those who went before them around in their ways. They have their own way, most of the time they are leading it and most of the time its going against everything that has gone before us. Still, we go forth fearlessly trusting ourselves and unafraid of laying new paths that have yet to be walked by the many.
The freedom to be angry on purpose holds as much importance as does the freedom to be happy. One cannot exist without the other. There cannot be one feeling that circles around again and again, never realising anything other than itself. How would we ever possibly know what does not serve us well, if we were to only ever experience one single feeling without the contrast? Why are we taught to be so afraid of what this emotion entails? Our outrages can signify what doesn’t sit well with us, what truths maybe stirring beneath the surface of what we are yet to see. It could be what guides us in the process of recognising what is not in our best interest or what we should not be willing to settle for. Why have we been raised to be afraid of the contrast? To avoid the conflict at all costs, as if no positive outcomes or realisations could come from such experiences? We have been raised to not fight for ourselves. For some, the confrontation is so uncomfortable, that they are willing to hold themselves in untruths for the sake of peace, usually a peace that cannot and will not last or serve them well. I have had the freedom in my life to experience the contrast in such ways that i am now unafraid when it presents itself. I have learnt to pay careful attention when it rises, especially in the moments it catches me off guard. I am in a place now where i have learnt to deeply trust my own outrages. I have experienced the battle enough in life now to know that sometimes it’s necessary and required for things to move forward in the desirable direction. I have experienced it enough to no longer be afraid of what it entails. I am comfortable in the knowing that what drives my battle is a passionate truth. My own. I realise what serves as my truth can only ever be that. Not everyone is going to have the desire to live the same, they can only ever have their own truths to follow. I’m thankful for their contrast as it keeps me clear and heading in the direction to which I am wanting to go. And as hard as it maybe to fathom, it really is insignificant where others are standing in their lives. It only ever really matters and can become hazardous when you find yourself too focused on trying to change their truths rather than staying clear about where you are standing in your own. The story always only ever belongs to you. As soon as you can bring yourself into the realisation that you are always only ever creating the story, the sooner you can get on with paying attention to what it is you are wanting to look like. And becoming comfortable in all the shades we carry that take us along that journey.
There’s always a time that comes when raising children that it becomes necessary to step to the side. We can only guide and set the pace for so long, then they begin to stretch themselves in and out of the comfortable and familiar places to see whats out there, what else is on offer. They begin this process of sifting and sorting through life’s offerings usually at a time when we believe they are most vulnerable. We are wanting to keep them close by, keep them securely tucked under our wings, keep them safe from all we know is out there. But the truth is, it’s necessary that they begin to know this for themselves. It’s necessary that we listen to what it is they are wanting and needing to do, at what ever age it presents itself, however hard at times it may be to hear. Our readiness as parents may not always line up with theirs. We must be able to step to the side, even if the words are hard to hear, even if we already know what the probability of the outcome will be. Even if we believe that their choice is not going to serve them well, it remains to be their choice. I have been learning to stand to the side of my children for some time now. Their choices are hard ones to hold at times, and it has become necessary to know when to keep quite and allow the sifting and sorting of their preferences to be that of their own. My children have been learning what works for them and what doesn’t from very young ages. At times its felt as though some of the lessons have been too hard, that they have been too young to be carrying such weights. Weights, that most of the time they have chosen for themselves. It’s not easy to stand to the side, in the deepest of love, and wait, wait to see if they will come back full circle. I’ve noticed, that most of the time they usually do, on most things. They begin somewhere with an idea of themselves and they want to see how it fits out there in the world. Then they play, explore, dream, fly and fall. And eventually, usually always they’ll end up somewhere where they first began. This is the beginning of their lives moving in circles, eventually everything always brings them home, back to themselves.
“If you take your index finger and trace what seems to be the outside surface, you suddenly find yourself on what seems to be the inside surface. Continue along what seems to be the inside surface, and you suddenly find yourself on what seems to be the outside surface. ” Parker Palmer
I’ve spent 30 days nurturing the inside, gently saying no to most things on the outside and intern saying yes to myself. It’s necessary every now and again to reassess all that is going on in life and sort through all that’s not flowing in the same direction, if we are to keep ourselves wide open and remain steady on the path of our truth. It is finding ways of bringing the outside world into aliment with what we are seeking for ourselves on the inside. The space was easy to be in and flowed more naturally than i expected it would. It was easier to say no from this space. A space where i compassionately gave myself permission to matter more than any other for this moment. And before giving anyone my yes, i foremost required a yes from my inner world first. More often, it was a no, which helped me to realise just how much of my inner world i have been compromising for the outer worlds wanting. Finding the balance is essential in keeping the two worlds flowing harmoniously. For now, I have become my highest priority in my story. My well-being is the one that’s vitality matters most if i am to continue to carry the weight of my tribe and also stay on the path of living faithfully within my truth. And i am understanding ever so clearly now, that it must be for the sake of my children that i remain it to stay this way. For me to be my highest idea of myself as a mother, daughter, friend or anything on the outside world, i must foremost be the highest idea of myself in my inner world first. It’s the only way to keep moving forward. I’m not interested in standing still or bending myself in ways that i know are going against the inner flow. I’m only interested in keeping myself wide open and in the certainty that what ever path I am to embark on from here on in, will be one closer to a truth of who i am now, and will perhaps have little resemblance to any i have travelled before. I am reawakening the dreams that have been with me forever that i had some time ago decided could never be, and I have decided that they could be once again, for this Is my life. I’m focusing less on the intricate details of how and when things will come about and spending more time in the knowing of they just will. My children are on this journey with me, and they flow closer to their own rhythms of truth the closer i flow to mine. So it is as much for them as it is for me that i endeavour to stay on this journey of compassionately tending to myself, endeavouring to close the gap between my outside and inside worlds.
I’ve decided to stay with myself for at least 30 days. Much like inviting an old lost friend over to spend some necessary time with. I’m getting to know the me that is within the me. I’m wanting this to be a beginning of the commitment to myself. This is my gift to myself. This is how i will begin the practice of moving with intent, intentionally moving with purpose. I am keeping myself in the moment, from moment to moment what ever that entails. I’m asking all the questions that one asks when arriving at this place in their life. And I’m listening whilst deeply awaiting the answers. This is how the clarity is surfacing, things that seemed important, are no longer. The ideas that i have been moving my whole life from are changing, I’m realising that they have never been my ideas. I’ve been following a way, a human blueprint for’ this is how things are done way’. And this simply does not fit with me anymore or possibly i am no longer wanting to be a willing participant. There is a larger picture, a greater more expansive idea of ourselves, if we are brave enough to jump and i’m jumping in. I am moving from within, from the inside out. It will be my creative force that will bring forth my ideas that will define my path now, not a story generated so long ago that it no longer makes sense in the world of today. Somewhere along the road we stopped listening to ourselves, and we started following, following all those who went before us. We did this in trust, that they knew better and knew where they were going and that it would lead us too, where we believed we needed to be. I’m not so sure that’s how we should be moving now, and I am sure that it’s not those ideas and deep-seated beliefs that I’m going to insist my children learn from and follow. I know that they already know who they are, it is not my job or concern to cloud their views with personal or world fears. Their stories are that of their own and i trust they know what is best for themselves. My children have the freedom to be. I am not insisting that they part take in the situations to which conformity is enforced upon them if it is not what they are wanting, even in their young ages this can be clear. I’m giving them the space to feel their way rather than filling them up. They will be free to choose and lead their own ways. They are my greatest teachers. It is in all their innate determination and unwillingness to conform to the old stories and beliefs that keeps me asking the unorthodox questions that need to be asked now more than ever before. It is them who have come forth and bought me to where i am standing now, who are leading me towards higher grounds, and i am willingly letting them lead the way, all the way.
I’m loving myself enough to say no. No in kindness, no with absolute love, for myself. I’m loving myself enough to know that whatever i am extending to myself in this moment will eventually flow on and through me to effect the whole. I’m not bothered by the resistance for I am sitting strong and sure and in the knowing of my truths certainty. I understand that it’s not personal. They are just reactions to my actions. The resistance will always come, not because what I’m doing is wrong but because there is a deep sense of loss of control from the other, and possibly they are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with this new me. A me that is valuing herself and will acknowledge herself and how she feels before moving on any decision. Moving this way, is intimate, slower, mindful and with purpose. It’s not always going to sit well in this fast paced, get what you want, kind of a world. And there are always going to be times when people just don’t want to hear you say No. Its alright, I’m not taking it personally. I understand that it is impossible for me to continue to please and accommodate everyone, without treating myself with the same deference. Life just doesn’t work that way. We cannot truly share with others what we are essentially denying ourselves. So I’ve taken myself back to the beginning, giving to myself all that i ultimately wish to share with others. I’m not resisting the resistance, but rather allowing their experience to be that of their own, what ever that entails, it’s not my responsibility to own or carry how others choose to react, anymore. My mantra for todays is ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do’ – Luke 23:34 So be it, amen.