Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Love Letter to The Prodigal Child

My Dear Child,

This is Mommy talking. This letter is about love.

You are my very own child and I love you so much.

It has been very painful to see you struggle with your feelings as you try to find solutions to life's most difficult problems, though you have rarely shared with me exactly what it is you have been thinking. I have tried to understand, and tried my very best to provide you with loving support, even as it seems you have insisted on doing everything your own way, independently of what I have tried to tell you. I often feel you are telling me you are not interested in listening to my opinion, that you feel I cannot possibly understand what you are going through, that you believe I cannot help you.

Every person in the world has their own unique set of experiences, but that does not mean they cannot be connected to other people in loving ways. I would hope you can work on removing the obstacles you have consciously set between us, and eventually come to understand that my role in your life as your mother is a valid one, a treasure worth preserving.

I would like for us both to try to heal our relationship, as we move forward.

As I sense that you have pushed me away, I have experienced a broken sense of trust, which may take a long time to restore. It may never again be the open trust I have come to rely on with my other loved ones, friends and family, and this loss of trust between you and me produces, deep in my heart, a profound sorrow.

I have always felt you to be closest to my heart. Your approach toward life and your challenges so nearly resemble my own struggles, as I worked at developing clear thought and an awareness of my own place in the universe, as one of its many unique individuals.

I am rooting for you in your battle for a sense of wellness and wholeness. I want to believe that you are on your way to growing into the healthy adult I have always hoped you want to become. If you ultimately fail in that venture, I want it to be not for a lack of trying, nor for a perception by you that it is not possible or that you are not deserving of success. No one—anywhere or at any time, past or present or future—deserves more of a wonderful life than you do.

It grieves me that I have often been clueless as to your state of mind, as you have not seemed to be able to share with me your thought processes. You did not describe to me what you were suffering, either because you did not want me to know that there was anything wrong, or because you yourself did not understand what was happening to you. I understood more than you think I did, because my own internal struggles during childhood and adolescence were so similar to yours.

We may not have all the answers, but I want you to know that I am here alongside you on this path called life and I would like to walk with you as time moves on.

Please consider my wishes. I believe it is somehow important to a person's sense of being as a whole person, to remain connected with your family who loves you, even as we appreciate that each is a unique individual who is not like anyone else in the world. My expectation is not, that you will become like me, or indistinguishable from any of the rest of us—an invisible, though important, pillar of society—but that you will come into your own and feel you are free to become yourself, in whatever manner you find best suits you. You may then want to share with us, your family, that wonderful person, the "you" who you are. I hope you will share with me, your mother, the person who you are now, as an adult, and continue to share with me the "you" who you are, at every future step of your life. You have grown and changed. You began as a child and were nurtured by me, from within myself, and from within our family.

From the time I first saw your exquisite face, minutes after you were born, when they brought you to me and I could hold you for the first time, I felt a special incredible love and an extraordinary deep spiritual connection with you, my child.

I was then dumbfounded with hurt and surprise when, suddenly, I realized I had been caught unaware by the facts, what is implied in the discovery that one is in the presence of true love. I found myself unprepared for a new and awful sense of worry. The realization hit me, that this fountain, overflowing with joy and unblemished happiness, might not last forever. It was so distressing, my awareness that this bliss could vanish, in any instant, without warning.

I could have wallowed in the misery of my awareness of the inevitability of loss of that which is most precious, but I decided to choose differently, and make my reality one that would continue to contain our eternal connection. Our hearts would forever be as one, mother and child. I felt confident that this truth would sustain me to the end of time, no matter whatever else might happen.

I felt lucky that I had finally been able to enjoy that moment when we first met and we physically touched our skins together, out in the open air, as I had felt your presence while I carried you inside me, before you were born, and had cherished our bonded intimacy. I knew our physical closeness could not possibly last forever, so I steeled myself against the inevitable time of our eventual separation, where our paths would go in different directions.

Yet, I knew the intensity of our connection would be eternal. Through these, my words (if they are preserved), I would hope that this, an acknowledgement and description of our connection, becomes one with the consciousness of "all that is."

Now, back to the present moment.

Today, you are grown up and apart from me, both physically and in other senses of the word "apart." Yet, you are also "a part" of me. We are parts of a unified "one."

I hope to once again be able to hold you in my arms and tell you I love you with all my heart. I would hope to hear you someday echo these, my own feelings, as your own feelings of love for your mother spring honestly and freely from your own heart.

I wish you all the joy love can bring. I want you to never give up seeking love, and I want you to find much love. I want for you to find that it is love that enriches your life, as much as my love of you has enriched my own life.

My love for you will continue to make me happy until I die. I hope my love for you will live forever in your own heart, as you remember me throughout the rest of your own life, even if you outlive me. You will always have my love. Always know how much I always love you. This love and our connection will last forever.

Love,
Mommy




Monday, February 23, 2015

Quotations

Life is too hard. It's breathe, breathe, breathe, all the time.
~  Barbara

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
~  Gandhi

Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fail.
~  Confucius

. . . I reflected that all things happen to oneself, and happen precisely, precisely now. Century follows century, yet events occur only in the present; countless men in the air, on the land and sea, yet everything that truly happens, happens to me. . . .
(The Garden of Forking Paths)
~ Jorge Luis Borges

The trick is, if you really believe the world is going to hell in a handbasket, don't let it upset you.
~  Susanna




Monday, January 26, 2015

Always Do Right

Always do right.

It is time to speak of the unspeakable horror of The Holocaust, it is always time to speak of those peculiar atrocities committed against groups of people who had been labeled as not people, of those extreme acts of cruelty performed by those who believed themselves to be good people dedicated to making the world a better place by exterminating, en masse, so many other good people.

Never forget that human beings are capable of being so wrong and so terrible to one another.

Never forget.

Repeat the story of The Holocaust, so that it is not forgotten, so that it is not reenacted, so that The Holocaust is never repeated.

Seek out the stories that exist today, the stories that do and the ones that do not make the news. Where are there horrors that indicate a new The Holocaust is possible, is likely, is happening now next door, is on our doorstep, is happening now and right here, is being perpetrated by well-meaning, upstanding, good citizens who truly believe that they are doing what is right? Bad-deed-doing people who are either unaware or unconcerned that they are doing evil are possibly even... us. You. Me.

Examine society. Examine oneself. Examine neighbors, friends, family, religions, beliefs, ideas, philosophies, cultural norms, laws, familiar practices.

What are we doing? Are we always doing what is right? How do we know?

I truly believe that I live in a society which is dedicated to always doing right and actually succeeds, to the best of its ability, in making the world a better place for all.

Always do right.

Never forget The Holocaust, nor those who were enticed or coerced into performing each one of the independently heinous acts. Those real people acted as they did just like all people do, because the course of action they took "seemed like a good idea at the time" or because the alternative course of action was seen to be worse. This is not unlike so many other activities human.

The Holocaust is the one worst thing that history has, to date, ever recorded. The people who committed these atrocities followed what seemed to them like a normal course of human activity. Doing what each one of them did seemed, to each one of those real people, like making a choice and choosing the best possible alternative at the time. Many had never examined whether or not their society was committed to doing right. Many people might have felt they were stuck living within the society that perpetrated The Holocaust, that they had no alternative way to live their lives, even if they wanted to.

Never forget that it was real people who carried out the individual acts which echo through our collective psyche and scream "Never again!"

You are a real person. Always do right.

Never forget that even good people who believe they are doing right could be very, very wrong.