On Compassion and Peoplehood

Read a great post from Mama Eve today, strangely on the similar theme to The Path Not Taken post I wrote about earlier. Clearly, for me there is a consciousness-raising going on around issues of parenting.

The post is called “My Children Are People” in which she admits suddenly (recently) realizing that her children are people.

It made me realize that the role of parent was very, very different than I had first thought.

I realized that “teacher” doesn’t mean “show them how to do everything”.

I realized that “disciplinarian” didn’t mean “punisher” or “controller”.

I realized that “empathy” didn’t mean “let’s discuss feelings every time you’re upset”.

I, of course, had to comment:

I have been thinking many of these same things. What DOES my daughter need from me? Is it in the particulars of the “what” we are to each other or is it in the “how” we are with each other?

Like you, I am finding this understanding liberating in various ways. Not only do I not have to be a perfect parent, but no one else has to be either. My child doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does anyone else’s. This mindset you are describing creates a space.

What comes in that space created? COMPASSION.

Compassion for and in ourselves and others is a wonderful thing to create. Sometimes I think compassion for our self is more of a priority because it opens the heart more fully for everyone else. I am perfectly flawed. If I can love myself well, I can certainly love this blessed being I have the honor of having in my life and live and learn with her in respectful and nourishing ways.

I am hopeful that this awareness and standpoint will gain me some peace of mind. Anger, frustration, annoyance and sometimes even hurt all melt in the presence of compassion. In that space, we are all children.

In fact, I was just reading today randomly that kindness is rooted in the German (?) word for child “kind.” That’s something to think about…….children are people and all people are children…….

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