So many things seemed so important at the time and with the passing of the years, they aren’t and never were. I wish I had taken the energy I expended on pushing my children to comply with being good students so they could fit in and to be able to “compete” in the world, more into the moments.
I am sitting here this morning, drinking my coffee and looking out across the most beautiful landscape that is the backyard of my home. I have a full life time of experiences, some of them would fill you with awe and admiration, some of them would make you weep. I have made colossal mistakes that still pull me to the edge to revisit them years later. Those highs and lows are not my constant companions. This morning I can only remember my youngest son and the way he smelled in my arms when he would stop whatever he was doing and would rush to me, urgent in his need to climb into my lap and to hug me.
He did not want or need anything. He did not hurry away. He ran to be with me and sit there with love being the unspoken bond between us.
I don’t care what my children do for a living. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of them. I don’t need to make excuses for them or protect them. I know they are not perfect and it does not change anything. I want them to know love. I want them to be loved, to have moments like I do, that will feed them long after life has decided that they are no longer relevant to anyone else. I want them to be able to love others.
You cannot love others unless you first love yourself. You can’t. And you have to believe that you deserve love and to ask for it. If you are going to give someone everything – who you are – then they need to be willing to give themselves to you. There is no disgrace in out growing, or discovering that two people no longer share that and to move on – PROVIDING that the move does not involve the need to destroy someone. Someone is not the love of your life, perfect, in one moment, and in the next, completely evil, without a redeeming quality. Just because the kind of love that makes people want to be together forever changes, it does not mean you can’t let go with love.
Loving people should compel us to kindness not turn us to destruction. When that happens, it is not about the other person, it is about our own inability to love . . . to love ourselves. I hope my children love themselves enough to be able to withstand all the unkindnesses of others.
I hope my children love others – their in-laws, their friends, their communities. I hope they remember that they now have two sets of parents and that they honour their partners parents and families on Mother and Father’s Day, birthdays, etc and not just selfishly focus on their own. That they share their children and their lives with both families. Relationships are a joining, an acceptance. I hope they see they are blessed with more people to love and they are blessing their children’s lives with a whole family. I hope they nurture that and protect it.
I hope my children are open to all the people who want to love them and that they see other people’s love as blessings. I hope they can see and feel love when it is offered and that they never say “I hate you” to someone who says, “I love you.”
Do they know how valuable people are, especially those people who have and will forgive them time and again? Family matters. Be there for your friends, don’t just take what you need and hurry away. Do they make an effort to let others know how much they mean to them? Are they there for others?
I hope their love extends into the communities in which they live and that they are involved with their communities and teach their own children to care about the people around them. I hope they can share the problems of others and also share their joys.
Does their love extend out into the world they live in? Do they take time to appreciate it, to interact in, and work to safeguard it?
I hope that no matter what unkindnesses are done to them, they never retaliate in kind. I hope they rise above it, be true to who they are, and don’t allow themselves to be dragged in. I hope they do not hear the unkindnesses that others speak against them , that they never allow those words a place to root in them. I hope they understand that the fundamental basis of all love is the acceptance and understanding of truth. Truth is light. Light is love.
Love is the glue, it is the breath, it is the blood.
Did I pay enough attention to the moments to teach my children that? Do they know how much they are loved? Will they be part of the healing this world needs? Can they let go of the pointless and focus on their heart truths? Can they honour the ultimate love that flows through them and be an instrument?
I hope I taught my children how to love.