With so many things that matter in life, politics, religion, stereotypes, and love, I have learned the most from my children. It is when they ask questions that I am afforded the opportunity to evaluate, ponder, and reconsider what I believe to be true.
In my twenties, before I became a mother, I knew all the answers. Now in my forties, I realize I am only beginning to know anything at all and they come to me for advice. They need the wisdom that, in their innocence, they believe I must possess. And just like I felt the need to reassure them there were no monsters under their beds, I feel the need to reassure them as they struggle through the growing pains of life. Carefully I choose my words, sharing the experiences that have shaped me. All the while hoping and praying that the pains I have endured will provide lessons for my children, thereby sparing them the same. I listen as they share with me their fears, frustrations, and heart-breaks. Every ounce of my soul begs to spare them this part of life’s journey.
From my vantage point, it’s easy to see what they should do, how they should behave, the choices they should make. I’ve made these mistakes. I’ve had these feelings. I’ve been there. I know.
I speak to them of unconditional love, of the feeling in your gut that comes when your soul finds it’s mate. I relate the irrelevance of words and the all important power of instinctual feelings, the Knowing when something is right and the trust required to listen when that happens. I explain that when you find that someone, nothing can be said or done to change that feeling and likewise, if that feeling isn’t there, nothing can be said or done to create it.
I speak to them of learning to sit with their Self, to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, of learning to stop resisting what Is and accept life in the moment without expectation. Life isn’t black or white. Life happens in the grey area. It’s okay not to know all the answers. It’s okay to feel sadness. To go through it and come out on the other side is one of life’s greatest gifts.
I need to take my own advice. To sit in this moment with no expectation, watching my children stumble, catch themselves, fall and get back up, all the while developing their balance, learning to trust their instinct. All the while resisting the urge to hold them up.
Just as all the talking and explaining in the world couldn’t teach them to walk. They had to experience the bumps and falls on their own. My words now are empty without their own life experience to provide the background for understanding.