- by 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 love this poem. A friend read this at my youngest son, Oliver's, naming ceremony.
This poem really began my journey in letting go and allowing my children to simply BE and allow them to have their own journey in life. This has especially been tested recently with my marriage separation and I have found such healing joy in allowing myself to let go and not be so controlling. When my eldest was first born I tried to control so much of his life and would have many arguments with my mother in law about how we were trying to raise him.
In the beginning I also found myself not wanting to let others look after/mind my baby so that I could have a break because I wanted to control everything. I found I was becoming very co-dependent upon my children and I needed to break those chords so as not to stifle them and suffocate them. I realise they are still only 'babies' at ages 2 and 4 and that it is a very important thing for them to be at home with me at this time. There is a balance to be found between caring for them and allowing them to just BE.
I used to feel very possessive and put it down to the fact that I was a wonderful mother who would do anything for her children and that I always needed to be there for them whenever. But I realise now that a lot of that was tied up in my own wanting to feel good about myself. That if my children loved me then I would feel worthy. It is not right to place such huge pressure on my boys. I need for us all to be our own individual selves and follow our own paths. My eldest has been expressing a desire to go and live with his Dad and I surprise myself by not being upset about that. Naturally I allowed the thought to creep in that he loves his DAd more than me, but I quickly released that thought, because that doesn't serve anyone. I know that my boys love both me and their Dad.....I only have to look to the love I have for both of my parents. All I want is for my boys to be happy and I want to love them unconditionally.
I now feel such calmness and have relinquished control and I just allow my (ex) husband to parent how he chooses to parent and I choose my own parenting journey. It has been hard and it was only a few months ago that I had an argument with my ex about a parenting issue, but now I am finding such relief in letting go and I realise that my boys have their own journey to go on through life. I can only 'control' (not a good word) what happens in my own house....ie no TV, vegan and mostly raw, attachment parenting with the boys sleeping in my bed, etc. I figure when they are old enough to make their own decisions that they will choose what makes THEM happy, not what makes the adults happy. My eldest, Jordan, has really been asking me a lot lately about why I don't eat meat and I try to tell him in a way that won't make him feel bad for eating meat at his Dad's place. I say to him that I don't like eating meat because I don't like that the animals die, but that some people believe that animals were put on this earth for us to eat, so whatever he decides he needs to do so because it's what he wants to do and that he is not a 'bad' person if he chooses to eat meat. Everyone is different and each of us need to discover what works for us.
My parenting 'goal' is to simply LOVE my children exactly as they are and not make them feel that they have to DO anything to gain that love. That they are simply loved, just because they were born and nothing they do will change my love for them. They are loved because they exist!!!
My only wish for them and the only 'rule' I choose to enforce is that whatever they do in life that they follow their heart and find JOY and Happiness and LOVE!
You are so beautiful! That poem was so beautiful! I am literally in tears. Thank you for your posts- both of the poem and of your precious sacred journey... you are an INSPIRATION and a LIGHT in the darkness! A thousand thank yous for your presence on the planet. Your children are most blessed, as are we to know you!! <3
I love how you spoke specifically to loving your children no matter what. This is unconditional love. It is the love of the Divine and it is how we were meant to love our children and ALL beings. But the truth is it can be difficult to put it into action when we are attached to the old way of expectations and co-dependency. I am walking through many chords I have realized I have had with my son (who is now 3). I feel your initial pain and also your breakthrough and am so abundantly joy-filled at the energy of your new found connection with your children. That is the difference! Connection vs. attachment. Thank you for the reminder.
Abundant Love Angel,