I sometimes find this hard to believe, but I know intellectually that my natural state as a human is a peaceful one. External factors can sway me from my centre, but essentially my original and natural state is calm. Everything I do to bring calm to my mind is aimed at rebalancing this internal state.
With kids, I have to say, it’s often hard to maintain that balance.
On Friday morning, I woke early and did my usual meditation practice in peace. As I rose from my bed, I was immediately hit by the sounds of angry screaming from somewhere in the house. I moved quickly to the kitchen to find my 5 and 6 year old trying to scalp each other, in what appeared to be a Lego based altercation. They stopped momentarily when they saw me, and then started again with a vengeance. I surveyed the scene, eyed them both with what can only be described as marginal compassion, and then I contemplated the idea of simply exiting the room, quietly getting dressed and leaving the house. Mothers do that, I know. I’ve heard of mothers who’ve left and never come back…anyway, I didn’t leave the house, more fool me. Instead, I got heavily involved, and completely disheartened. I felt sad as I watched their behaviour rollercoaster even more out of control. I managed to stay calm for quite a while. I breathed slow breaths of pause that I’ve been trying to do whenever I’m pushed, and then I faltered, allowing anger to take hold of me. And I yelled…and yelled, and then I felt terrible.
I know I’m not alone, and I’m not about to waste any more energy on feeling bad, for behaving badly. But afterwards I was conscious of how long it took me to get over it. The amazing thing about kids is that they don’t seem to feel bad, for behaving badly. Mine don’t anyway! They readily let it go. They recover almost instantly from arguments with each other which appear to me to be relationship ending. They can cope with the swings. Unfortunately, I don’t always cope quite as well, and need to rely on the power of the love I feel for them, the calm of my early morning meditation, the peace and release of a great yoga session, or the liberation of a mid-morning run.
The dichotomy of family life is that on one hand it’s deeply grounding, and on the other, emotionally challenging to the extreme.
I think that for every ‘thing’ that knocks you off kilter or tips you askew, you have to know how to internally re-calibrate and find your place of centre. Your natural state of peace. It’s where we are meant to be.
Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT