I keep talking, despite my daughter’s plea.
“Would you stop?!” she begs.
I persist, rationalizing to myself, I’m the parent, she will benefit by listening to me.
“You’re making me feel sad. You’re making me feel like an idiot!”
Ouch. But I’m on a run, “Well, that’s your doing,” implicitly reminding her that no one can “make” us feel anything.
While the admonishment leaves my lips, I’m thinking, “Wow. I wish she had said that to me a long time ago.”
As long as my daughter tucks her tail between her legs while I spew “wisdom,” then I can stand in my righteousness.
But when she summons the courage to look me in the eye and the wherewithal to articulate how she is feeling, then, I don’t have an egoic leg to stand on.
Immediately, I thought of all the times in her life, the many conversations in the 15 years preceding this moment, that I asserted my perception, under the guise of offering wisdom, and she remained silent. Or, responded with [understandable] defensiveness.
Ugh. Am I really still capable of condescension? After all the years of inner work and deepening in spiritual awareness? Apparently, yes.
I am reminded of the words of spiritual teacher, John-Roger: “Just because you have learned something and think you’re ‘there’ doesn’t mean that you can stop. You have to keep working at it. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
We are never “done.” As long as we are breathing, there is work to do. If we weren’t continually expanding and growing, I think the universe would implode due to stagnancy, or whatever the opposite of creation is.
That means when an old, unwanted pattern surfaces, it’s ok. I choose to see it as an opportunity, an opportunity to look at the underlying hurt, misbelief, or judgment and, with the grace of God, heal it. In this case, it appears I have been carrying around a judgment of myself as incompetent, or an “idiot,” because, as a dear friend of mine says, "You spot it, you got it!"
We are presented with endless opportunities to express Love.
I may have missed the opportunity while in the moment with my daughter, but caught it on the flip side. That is, I subsequently forgave myself for judging myself as incompetent, and apologized to Josephine, high–fiving her for her courage to share honestly with me.
School is always in session. Maybe all those conversations when she was younger were curriculum development, that is, it was not yet time for me to practice these particular lessons in humility and loving. Today, with expanded awareness, I am ready.
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