Whenever I think someone shouldn't be how they are--
When I turn inward and tend to my own discomfort, interesting things happen. Body sensations and feelings arise and, with time, fall away. My heart opens to myself and the shadowy place within me that is react. Magically, my heart also opens to the person I was upset with.
Sometimes this leaves me able to be present for them in their anger or pain. Other times it moves me to speak, perhaps saying something that's scary for me to say or painful for them to hear. After caring for my own uncomfortable feelings, my voice is clearer, gentler, and at the same time closer to truth.
The moments that I want to push something away become my teachers when I allow them to be.
I saw this image on Facebook this morning and felt the call to write a little something.
We all want this, right? Someone to love us for our real, messy, hard selves. Someone to accept who we truly are. Someone who can handle the whole truth.
Our kids want and need it, too.
The someone we're looking for is us. You are the one who needs to love yourself for the person that you are, even when you're messy. Can you do it? Will you practice it with me? A simple practice of noticing a messy part of yourself, imagining it as a baby, and holding that baby with love can change your life.
Loving ourselves as we are helps us to heal. Then we can love our kids as they are. And our partners, colleagues, strangers on the road. . .
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.