Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I will miss Oprah - she mentioned this poem on her show today. A show that touched upon parent's accepting their children for who they are. I had never heard of Kahlil but this is fabulous. I am learning this lesson big time and it points me into the direction of "teaching them to fly" on their own. This says it so well.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dancing in the Empty Space

It's a new year and time to clean out, I see clutter everywhere but right now I have been cleaning out kids clothes and toys in part to make room for the new Christmas stuff. We are also moving GaGa's belongings out of her independant living apartment to the nursing home, donating, and putting some in storage. Decluttering has been a relevant topic for me for a while but as GaGa is facing the very real end of her life it takes on more meaning about "the stuff." We go through the stuff and I immediately see everything that can be thrown out. Then I see the things that are important to her. She has been at my house when I am trying to get rid of MY junk and she has kept some of my stuff because she doesn't want to let it go. With her things she stops and asks, "Carolyn, do you want this?" and I who am getting rid of more and more stuff at my own house and am finally embracing simplicity, is struggling but saying no. It feels like I am rejecting her by saying no. So finally as we were going through more stuff, I told her, "When I say no I don't want something, it doesn't mean I don't love you" She shook her head in what I think was understanding yet...

I didn't finish the statement, and at some point I will because we have a good relationship and I am learning to speak up to those around me. What I will say is you are not the stuff. My memories are not going to be tied to having your things. Everything that I have learned and loved about you is in my heart and my mind.

This is so freaking powerful for many reasons.

It's not about the stuff. When I watch the shows about hoarding and see people holding on to their deceased loved ones' stuff, I think in part to avoid the pain of grieving or some other pain. I feel their pain in a small way and think about my own. I look at my own life to see where I can accept the pain and let go to make my own vision and become my own self. Humans and animals avoid pain at all costs. And it's the perception of pain as well.

There are things that I want to keep of course, pictures, documents but not Christmas towels that hang on hooks. he he he. I have been watching many episodes of "Clean House" and also Peter Walsh's new shown on OWN, "Enough Already". Recently, Peter said in regards to kids toys that over and over again when he has cleaned out a house, that each and every time, (here it comes...) the kids dance in the empty space.

It has happened in my own house. I have watched my own girls do that a few times and realize that it is the space we love, not the "stuff" that we buy to fill a void. And we love the people who are present with us and engage with us. Our children want us to engage with them.

And I love love love this idea of dancing. Of embracing and loving life to it's fullest extent. I'm going to brew on this a while.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 - Here We Go!

This is the start of my third year of writing a blog. The first year I wrote 71 entries, so I just cheated and finished a draft to make it the same number for 2010. When I read the earliest entries, all I can think is that I've come a long way baby and I'm still going. I ponder if I should be putting all of my "business" out there but it just feels right. Not just right but freaking cathartic. I didn't even know I didn't have a voice before so letting it out, feels really good.

I have had so many subtle aha moments over the last few years and that is what I understand therapy is all about. Changing the way my mind was trained to think and opening it up to another world view. Slow and steady wins the race, but now I know it's not a race. The lightbulb moments just keep coming and I am thankful. This journey to figure out who I authentically am has been painful, eye opening, cathartic and in the end I realize it is all about love. The love that I am learning to give to myself in the form of self care. AND once you learn how to take care of yourself, you are so much more open to giving to others.

I came across a "Soul Series" radio show about spirituality and therapy. The counseling profession has long wanted to keep counseling and spirituality separate but now they must be starting to merge. As I am finally appreciating myself for who I am and loving what is, God and his awesomeness and availibility is being revealed. We are born into this world with infinite love and possibilities and then parents and the environment take over. It is my job now to take over and relearn love and possibilities.

I know that this track of personal awareness is not for everyone but I KNOW it is for me. I am finally putting the pieces together and understanding what life is all about for me now.