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.
I have a person, and there was for a short time when i lost hold of her. This time is one of the hardest moments for me to think about now, now that i’m back standing in my truth. Theres a noticeable gap now. A gap in the memories we were creating together. One that, was probably necessary for things to play out the way they did, however now brings me a deep sense of loss. I regret that we missed time. I regret that i gave her up so easily, that i was willing to walk away from her, and the most devoted friendship I’d ever known and in turn my truth. Because to have her beside me would have meant not embarking on the path i was about to take, and for what ever reason, life was going to take me on that course. I know that i was deeply denying myself in this moment in my life, falling into the depths of a story that is still hard for me to make real sense of even now. I understand that she couldn’t have been here for me during this moment, she represented too much for me, she was the all and everything that was real and absolute about who i was and i was playing somebody else, in this moment. So Life in all its graciousness pressed pause on us for a while, until one day when she knew, it was time to once again press play. And in what can only be described as divine timing she returned and she brought with her my truth. She is the one i know i have travelled life times with and will continue travelling with for life times to come. Theres a knowing between us that runs far deeper than anything that could ever be explained here. We love profoundly each other and each others children, we forgive and embrace the highest parts of ourselves always acknowledging that rarely do we have all the answers, knowing how unnecessary it would be anyway. How comforting it is to know that when all else falls away, we are unafraid to let ourselves be seen by each other in all the shades and stories we carry, condemning neither against the other. Our children carry on the bond, walking their paths closely, more like siblings than friends, holding the memories we’ve created close to their hearts, knowing that the foundation has been laid for them to return to whenever the need calls. They know we have them, and they us and thats all that matters. This is the part of my life complete in its everything, nothing more could ever be asked, nothing about it requires change, it is the absolute already, and i am eternally grateful for her and the story.
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.
In life we create these moments that we believe matter, marking the date, we celebrate, thinking that it will always be of some importance to us. We don’t think of what lies ahead, how life’s assurance to us is always going to be to change our course, and all of a sudden that moment, now holds far less value. All the sentiments surrounding the moment no longer exist. The value of the date, the celebration, has no role anymore, and a vacant space is created, for a new story perhaps, or perhaps for no story at all. The date, becomes as it was before, and quietly you wonder to yourself why in a world where nothing is permanent or absolute, do we still insist on signifying such moments in the first place. In hindsight, it would seem for this particular moment a certain naivety had taken precedence over, her much higher wisdom.
Remember if you want to make progress on this path and ascend to the places you have longed for, the important thing is not to think much but to love much and so to do whatever best awakens you to love.
-Mirabai Starr, St Tereasa of Avila
“we all begin the process before we are ready, before we are strong enough, before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. We respond before we know how to speak the language, before we know all the answers, and before we know exactly to whom we are speaking.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves
She asks now not for guarantees or assurances of things to be alright. She asks now not for anything to make sense or even to play out in any particular way. She no longer needs all the right answers or to even really understand why life seems to be so much harder now, even though she’s older. When all she ever really imagined was it getting easier. All she is wanting now, is the courage to simply be still, with it all. If she can accept everything her life is presenting, without the need to change or move anything, if she can truly be alright with the uncertainties and resist the need to give into bitterness or regret or blame of another, then maybe, just maybe, she will be able to move a little closer, sink a little deeper, towards her centre, towards a new truth for herself. Maybe then she will see that all that has ever happened to her in her life, has really happened for her. She will understand that she is the creator of her story, that she has always been the one painting the picture. And if, she can bring herself to move though this, with love as her centre then maybe life will begin to flow differently for her. Maybe she will finally be able to be, the love she so deserves.
…she was able to ware proudly her passion for life, instead of her heart on her sleeve. She knew to hold herself back because she valued herself. she knew her price-priceless. She knew that the kind of love she gave was only going to go to somebody worthy of it. When your young your self-worth comes from being loved by other people; but by the time you are a woman with a past, you know your value, and you love yourself. That’s where your self-worth comes from. No man can ever give you your self-worth, but you can let plenty rob you of it. On the surface it would seem she is self-centered, which she is. But self-centered in the best possible way; being centered in the truth of who she is. Her authentic self. A woman who knows this deserves nothing less than to be loved truly madly deeply. Unconditionally. Devotedly. Exclusively. A woman who will not settle for anything less. Because that is the only way she knows how to love.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach
I have been confused and troubled by love for my life. I know i have wanted to believe that love is something only another can give to you, like a precious gift perfectly wrapped, a gift that would always remain the same, unable to be moved by life and harsh circumstances. I always wanted to believe that it is possible for another to give you the things that you were missing from your own beliefs, that they may just be able to fill the gaps, build you up, see your potential, even if you really couldn’t see or believe these things for yourself. I wanted to believe it to be this way, because i thought it was easier. There is no need for me to do anything. No need for me to do the hard work of discovering it for myself, within myself, by myself. It’s easier to accept and embrace the precious gift from another. What i have learnt, is that this rarely works. The very things we are looking for outside of ourselves, for love to provide us with, can never be found out there. It will never really exist there, unless of course, it already exists within you. It’s always nice in the beginning, your love see’s you the way you want to see yourself, you fall in love with the idea they have of you. It’s always a nice idea but it can never be a lasting idea because you don’t for a second believe it to be true for yourself. And that is the only place where love can begin. What i know now is, love doesn’t ask that we change or bend ourselves, it’s doesn’t require us to hide or manipulate truths about who we really are, or ask that we deny any part of ourselves that don’t seem to fit. Love requires nothing, it just is. It doesn’t need to be built up, explained or begged for, it doesn’t even need recognition or admiration, love just simply exists and i understand now, that i must be all that i am seeking, i must journey within and discover that great love for myself, by myself, only then will i truly be able to share it with another.