I could hear the kids screaming and laughing from my study upstairs.
But the volume of their shrieking placed my parent radar suddenly on alert.
I saved my file, trundled downstairs and approached the sounds coming from the kitchen.
There they stood, dripping in the orange cordial they had obviously been throwing at each other….
Smiling like Heaven and Christmas had arrived on the same day.
As I perused the kitchen and saw the destruction…
My eyes alighted on my new iPad laying on the surface with a pool of liquid sat on its screed.
And my anger began to arise…
The Persona of the Awakened Being
It’s interesting being a parent.
With a bit of mindfulness practice and a certain creativity in manipulating positive conditions, you can pretty much navigate through life without getting too upset!
You can pretty much maintain than persona of a calm and reasonably ‘sorted out’ being – to the world, and to yourself!
And you can come to believe that this is who you are.
But throw in a coupe of kids being, well….. kids. And all of a sudden, it’s like you are playing a different ballgame.
Because kids push your buttons.
They don’t mean to but they do. Time and time again. Any moment of the day.
Parenting can be a Struggle
For me it’s been a wresting match. A wrestling match with myself….
Because I want to be that all accepting, all embracing, loving, compassionate parent, who can take everything In their stride.
But that hasn’t always been the case.
It often isn’t the case.
How Ideas Get in the Way.
You see I have these ideas about how I should behave in response to my kids. I have ideas about what an ‘Awakened’ response should be to my kids.
I have views upon views upon views that sneak in and get in the way of my communication with them.
I get angry, and think I shouldn’t’. I apologise and think I shouldn’t. I feel remorse and feel I shouldn’t.
I create an intention to act differently in the future. And then I don’t.
But here’s the thing…..
I am changing. My response is changing.
I am learning all the time.
The Need to be Real and Raw in our Responses
If I stop interpreting how I should be, and allow myself to be who I am.
If I stop trying to be this image of an ideal parent sitting on a lotus leaf somewhere radiating translucent light.
If I accept that life also involves the nitty gritty, the weeds and the dirt.
If I roll up my sleeves and dig deep and get down into the murkiness of life, instead of keeping myself away from it.
Then I begin to live.
And strangely move closer to that idea that is currently getting in the way.
The Practice of Self-Acceptance
You know it’s okay to not be happy when your new iPad gets soaked in orange juice. It’s okay to feel angry. To not be happy with your kids.
It’s even okay to tell them that you are angry.
(And in doing that you communicate that they too are ‘allowed’ to feel that way. To communicate that they don’t have to hide it, to push it down, to lock it away.)
Learning to accept oneself in this way in a HUGE move for most people.
We have been taught by our parents, our culture, our teachers, our friends, how we should be and how we should not be in this world.
But we really need to start with one thing……
Accepting how we actually are.
Wishing you well,