They taught me that unconditional love is able to reach the human soul, across oceans and highways, across good times and bad times – across time itself.
This recommends unconditional love for being understood as an attribute of the ‘Space-Time Continuum.’ To wit: it is of the eternal. It is non-coercive, non-controlling…it is comfortable living with uncertainty and with resisting the human compulsion to control events and other folks’ reactions to events.
Parents need to feel loved by their kids, just as kids need to feel loved by their parents. But parents are special in that they need to see that their children are happy and safe more than anything else. Above all else, the parent-child relationship is a ‘pay-it-forward’ scenario.
At some point, one’s children will have children of their own; as parents age, their children will become more like parents while their parents become more like children. It is not that we actually change, only that the challenges and responsibilities we face as grown-ups are not those of children, nor those of the elderly. Our children will one day end up being their children’s children. Just like we did.
Some other things I learned from my children:
- That siblings who have experienced divorce/strife between the parents, can grow up to be well-adjusted children, nevertheless. The network my children have formed together appears destined to be as wonderful as the one my mom and her siblings formed around their mom/my grandma. They all got married and had families of their own. While my mom, aunts and uncles were living, we saw them nearly every weekend growing up. That was in addition to having lots of neighbourhood pals. What a great way to grow up. On that basis, you make it great for your own children.
- You are only in the process of failing if you are not trying/you only fail, if you do not try. One of my children was awaiting her exam results. She had not been given a pass the first time, and this was her last chance at obtaining her accreditation, after 7 years-ish of studying. She went through h3ll, as you can imagine, for a whole year. She shared this with me only recently.
- Her timing was perfect. I had been wallowing in ‘giving-up’ mode for some years, likely ever since the first signs of my family’s break-up, which, happily (I recently learned), didn’t break up at all, on the spiritual level. Even after so many years, an extended period of time together allowed the special connection of family to reemerge all on its own. If something transcends distance and time, it is unconditional. It is eternal. Separation, of the material and/or consciousness variety, is only a very transitory human condition. [p.s. If humankind could regard one another as being ‘of one family’ which we are, if we go back far enough, why we need only acknowledge that beyond the separation that forms between souls ( a veneer of cloud upon the soul as thin as the atmosphere which separates our life-factory Earth Mother from the uninhabitability of Space, and what I call ‘ego’) there exists someone (or something) who is, in their essence, just like us and will do us no harm. IF THEY ARE NOT EXTENDING THE GOLDEN RULE, it is because they are in spiritual pain and the clouds of ego are temporarily blocking the healing energies. We all experience phases like this. Mine began when I hit high school age, I believe. Don’t let this dissuade you. Keep extending kindness. It will breach any ego, in time, even as the waves can breach the shoreline.
My children are different personalities. They are uniquely spirited with respect to one another. Each has their own gifts and strengths, weaknesses and challenges. They will one day head good families(if they are fortunate to find a good man) and raise wonderful children (if they choose to have children, any child of theirs would be a happy child, just like I was with my mom), to take over the reins from their generation when the time comes.
As for moi, my three daughters are fulfilling the dreams I once had for myself, and in their unfulfillment, conferred my hopes upon my children.
Ultimately, it all comes down to service. Daughter One aspires to be CEO of a nonprofit (Serve the cause of a special community). Daughter Two aspires to to work in the field of Environmental Law (Serve the cause of sustainability). Daughter Three aspires to be a doctor (Serve the cause of the sick). In every case, they aspire to serve a cause based on the needs of others. [I might point out that the cons of today approach issues from the perspective of their needs, as opposed to the needs of others].
Despite the marriage troubles, I remained thankful for my kids throughout. I just worried about them more when they moved so far away. And I missed their happy faces. When my time arrives, I pray I will remain in contact with them, albeit from the other side of the River Styx. A source of love and understanding, and of strength, just as I sense that my mom is for me now…
…and as her sisters and mom were for her, after they had crossed over.