The first time I tell people, “Be gentle with yourself” – I say it a lot – they mostly look at me as though I’m speaking some foreign language. I suppose in a way I am. Treating ourselves in a kind and gentle manner is unfamiliar to a lot of us.
We seem to have the idea that there is a ‘Right Way’ and anything other than that way is ‘not getting it right’. When we don’t get it ‘right’ we think we’re not good enough. Thinking we’re not good enough leads to all sorts of nastiness – low self-esteem, depression, addictions, acting out our pain…
When it comes to parenting we are full on! We’re all very busy trying to get it ‘right’ – although, truthfully, none of us is quite certain what that means. I mean look at all the mixed opinions out there.
People, this ‘Right Way’ thing is a very un-gentle and self-destructive way to live.
I was vividly reminded of this recently by my little master teacher who felt it was necessary to give me an in vivo practicum in this lesson. As usual, he wrapped his gift to me in the most stirring of packages.
It was my older boy. I was trying to meditate but he just wouldn’t leave me alone. He battered at me relentlessly. He was truly magnificent in his persistence and determination – and from my vantage point now I can see I did really well in staying calm and managing him gently – but finally I cracked, slammed my way into the bathroom and S C R E A M E D my frustration.
It freaked him out.
It went a little pear-shaped after that.
I was so down on myself afterwards. I didn’t think I’d done well at all. I had a list of wrongs. First I had notRead More