I just read a very powerful sentence in a wonderful book, "The Gift of an Ordinary Day," by Katrina Kenison. She said, “As soon as I stop wishing for things to be different, I am met by the beauty of what is.”
How much time do we spend wishing for things to be different? I am one of those “the grass must be greener over there” people – always wondering “what if.”
No matter what the present moment brings – whether it’s a child screaming in rage, a car that won’t start, angry words from a friend or relative, too little money – if it is negative, we tend to place blame elsewhere, decide we are at fault, or shutdown in hopelessness.
How hard it is to stop wishing for things to be different? What if we were able to say, “This is what I have to deal with right now. This is what is happening. Let me stay right here and pay attention. It’s OK if I feel angry, embarrassed, impatient, bewildered, disappointed, afraid." Imagine just staying in that feeling and taking responsibility for it.
We want to retaliate, blame, find an answer, sweep the moment away and forget. “The beauty of what is” might not actually be beautiful, but when I can stay with what is and accept it, something beautiful happens.
I might say to myself, “This sucks, I hate it, but it’s not the end of the world and I can deal with it.” I actually begin to relax and my emotions tend to soften a bit. When I react in anger, all that happens is I create more and more resistance.
We’re so used to passing the buck, blaming someone or something else, that it is hard to just stay still and acknowledge, “This is how I feel,” or “This is how my child is feeling right now.” Especially with kids, we worry what this anger means for the future, we fret over why it’s happening and when will she ever learn, etc.
Why can’t we simply accept that this is what’s happening right now?
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Bonnie Harris blogs at Connective Parenting.