There is nothing more beautiful than seeing all of these people I love coming home to themselves. I am in awe of how many ways there are to move toward living from the heart. The possibilities are infinite.
I was telling my friend today how amazed I am at my relationship with my older daughter. My heart is overflowing with joy as I reflect upon just how far we've come together.
I just can't believe it, because there was a moment in time when I wasn't very certain our relationship could overcome all its difficulty.
One day, I just decided to put the breaks on all the stock stories and fears about my daughter and our relationship together. I decided that they were too painful. I was tired of all the space they were taking up in my life. I was tired of never getting to the moments of play with her, so busy trying to make her into, well, the truth of it? Into someone who made me feel safe. Someone like me, or at least someone who related like me. Someone cautious, and polite, and-- afraid.
But, all I saw was my daughter shrinking away, maybe even wilting. I saw her mimicking my not-so-proud moments, and adopting them as part of her repertoire. I saw fear in her big blue eyes, of me--and that translated out into the world. I saw an empty shell. My little one was dying to life.
For a long while now there have been a lot less lectures, a lot less throwing my fears in her face, less of my neediness for her to understand me, to pledge herself to the right, the safe, and the morally sound. There has been much less of me listening to the voices--oh, those voices--speaking of the value of discipline, discipline, discipline--of consequences, consequences, consequences, of shaping kids like play dough.
No more chasing away the present moments with her, for all that might happen in the future if I don't suffocate her with fear of herself.
Yeah, somewhere along the line I had enough. I was done. My heart told me there was a person in there--and she was just like me.
My daughter has been my biggest gift. She is here to teach me. And it is through what she continues to teach me, that I even begin teaching her.
She is teaching me how to truly love with no bounds.
And the most amazing thing is, my daughter has come back to life. It is true that love is a force, that it gives life, sustains life, supports life, renews life.
Tonight my daughter went to yoga with me, and as we did our side stretches lying on the floor she reached out playfully, and held my hand. Her precious blue eyes were bright and awake. Her smile was so freely given. Later her body was so strong and sure in tree pose. I'm sure she was the best in the class with that one. And in warrior pose, her tiny eight-year-old legs, adorably in disarray, were grounded into her very own unique pose of a warrior. And she looked so strong there, so ready for life, so prepared for her unique way of being.
My biggest and only gift of any importance to her has been to learn to see her by seeing myself; to unravel all of my fears, so as to not make her a victim of them. And every gift I give to her is given back to me ten-fold.
What is so shocking to me, being of this world, is that my gifts to her have nothing to do with any wisdom I might impart to her in the form of lectures or moral beatitudes. How nice to know that all of the parenting advice I've solicited from books,experts,and other well-meaning parents, (you know, the stuff you can't really seem to apply, except for in very short moments, never truly penetrating the surface of the surface), can be thrown out! Not only was all of it useless, but completely contradictory to loving my child. Who knew it could be a good thing to be snubbed by the the greatest-mother-in-the-world club?
The clearer I see my daughter, the clearer she sees me. The clearer I see myself, the clearer I see my daughter. The clearer I see myself, the clearer my daughter sees herself. Whoa, did you read that last one?!
Somehow the energy between us continues to shift into a place of love as our default, and I can't believe it! I can't believe how she throws her arms around me when she sees me. I can't believe how she looks into my eyes, and takes so much joy in making me laugh by making her silly faces.
I can't believe it when I watch her sister getting angry at her, that sometimes, instead of fighting back, she pauses. SHE PAUSES! I can't believe it when I see her choose peace, because she has seen me do it. So that was how to communicate it to her!
And now none of the how's even matter. Because what began as wanting to write a new story with my daughter, what turned into a blind-faith commitment to seeing my child with my heart, has given more than I could have ever dreamed of.
She shows me every day what I couldn't see before, and it is beautiful. It is freedom. It is hope. Sometimes I can barely look upon it, it is so bright. To find out that she was always who I'd wanted her to be? She just needed me out of the way! Wayne Dyer says children have the anchor of the universe within them. I believe this to be true.
Her little heart is feeling safer in this world. Room for shining.
And because of what I've been gifted with my daughter, I know that peace is real.