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.
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’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.
We are settled enough here to begin now, this journey that only now do i realise that I’ve always been making my way towards. I’m stepping into the space of myself. Its necessary, if i am not to fall back into ways that are no longer serving to me. What matters to me now is simple. Truth. To be in the world as i divinely am, to know who it is beneath the layers. No masks, roles or expectations to play to any part that divinely isn’t who i am. I’m wanting the deeper understanding, as much as can possibly really be understood in this moment. It’s the deeper questions that I’m asking now, the same ones I’ve been asking for the greater part of my life, only now i am truly ready for the answers, no longer bound by the fear of what the knowing would entail. I understand now that nothing real can ever be lost by letting go of the story, nothing really exists that isn’t real anyway. It’s important for me to move into this place now, to not need to fill any gaps of myself with anything at all, not people, not things, places or experiences. The answers and knowing I’m seeking, are right here, in the depths of who i am. I understand, it’s not necessary to travel across the world for this. And although as tempting as it is, unnecessary to walk any long roads to Santiago, or be on the Ganges ‘Holy’ River for my prayers to be offered up and heard. It is not necessary for me to excuse myself from the life i have created. No need to stop, or pause in what truly matters. I can be a mother and find the truth of who i am in the same moment. It doesn’t require much to truly pay attention to your children and yourself, but it does require discipline, and the courage to let go of all that distracts and holds us away from them and ourselves. What is required is simplicity and less. Less stuff, less distraction, less doing, less compensating, less justifying, less hiding, less pretending. It requires giving into the less whist existing in a world that impels us towards needing more. It is necessary, to pause before deciding, to breath before reacting. Reminding yourself to choose love over fear in every instance and in every impending judgement you place upon another. Knowing deeply that what you think and say and do matters on the most unfathomable of levels. It’s knowing that forgiveness is incontestable and gratitude is absolute. Its willingness to move into these places of ourselves, because its our life right, the only way to go when you have spent enough time going all the other ways. You know that it’s time when you deeply understand that going backwards is no longer an option and life won’t allow you to stand still this time, not for this calling forward. I will undo, i will let go and keep going inwards and upwards. I won’t apologise for what can’t be during this time, honoring myself wholly for the first time in my life. From here, may only Truth follow.
I have been mothering for most of my adult life, naturally and instinctually. And it is only now that i am older and where outside opinions only matter when i decide that they do, that i can say it’s the part that i like and respect the most about myself. It has taken some time getting to this place of contentment. Not because i didn’t feel the worthiness of my chosen path or understand the magnitude of just how important my role is, but more, its taken this long to feel secure enough in saying it is absolutely enough for me. There has been pressure over the years, to be more, do more than only be a mother. Whether this derives from outside perceptions or from within, my guess is, it’s most likely a little of both. I have defiantly had my fair share of condescending queries about ‘what it is i do,other than mother. And for a short time, i did question if it truly was enough. Was i able to say i have no regrets of any unfulfilled ideas i had for myself? Was there something else i needed to do to prove my worthiness and sense of value to the world, and possibly myself before i could say, Mothering is enough. Looking back now, the only times i have held any doubts in my life’s choices, has always been during times of great despondency, when doubt has pervaded all senses. Yet in times when i have remained true to myself, there has been no doubt, no regret, no other idea that could ever be more important than the path i am on. Now, the dread of such inquiries wouldn’t bother me at all, more rather they would be welcomed. What ever doubts i held in my earlier years of parenting being a sufficient enough path to take, have stayed there. I undeniably know now that it absolutely is enough. Enough for me.