Thursday, July 23, 2009
I came across the following excerpt today and it really touched my heart. I found it on the GOOP blog. Read on...
"I don’t know if I’m pulling rank here: I’m speaking now as a grandmother, not an active-duty mom. But my four grandkids have given me a second chance to learn the lessons that I missed the first time around. Or maybe it’s simply that the passage of time lets one see the forest, not just the trees.
The single most important thing is to take time to LISTEN to your children – as fellow human beings, not just as your charges or pet projects. There’s a wise little human soul in there, ageless in heart even while young in time. Follow her lead. Listen to what she says and DOESN’T say. Don’t just manage her, but allow the things she’s interested in to open and energize your own heart. That’s the secret of eternal youth."
Here is my favorite part...
"Second, don’t be afraid to be real with your children. I’m not speaking so much here about being honest with your feelings (that’s generally good, but don’t forget that as a parent you have a primary responsibility to hold a safe space for your kids, and your self-expression should never overwhelm or frighten them); rather, I’m talking about being transparent about what you truly love. For eighteen years my own mother managed, scolded, imposed manners, dragged us kids off to Sunday school, arranged lessons in necessary social graces, chaperoned parties and supervised homework. And yet, for all that gray blur of duty, the one day I truly remember from my childhood was the day she simply gathered up her beloved oil paints and marched us off to a local arboretum. As my brother and I explored the gardens, I watched her a short distance away, poised before her easel, golden sunlight streaming down her face, completely entranced in what she was doing. How I loved her in that moment! And the unspoken lesson on following your bliss has remained with me for nearly six decades."
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader. She is founding director of the Aspen Wisdom School in Colorado and principal visiting teacher for the Contemplative Society in Victoria, BC, Canada.
Photo of Evs by Michael Flohr