As my husband and I welcomed our first guests into our new home last week (yes, we have moved), all I could think was how blessed and abundant we are to have them in our life. It’s a humbling experience to come face to face with ‘children’ whom you haven’t seen for seven years, not least because we are now ‘looking up’ at them. Once little kids whose lives we were intricately involved in, our move from Sydney to the Gold Coast had interrupted the flow of our contact and they are now in adolescence or approaching adulthood. Having missed the space between, the opportunity to catch up and re-connect with these three beautiful young people and their mother was a reminder that love and friendship are not bound by time or distance. Ever mindful of the importance of ‘Trusted Adults’ in young people’s lives, it also gave us the chance to be there in a way that phone calls alone had precluded.
Just as I discovered when I first started training teenagers, behind their cool exteriors and gangly bodies, reside little kids just wanting to be heard and understood. The time we spent together ‘playing’ and talking and opening our hearts and minds to one another were times we will treasure forever. Just as my own aunties and uncles had been for me in my youth, the gift of having known them since birth meant there was no need for pretence. This is both the challenge and the privilege of being there for young people – indeed for anyone – to listen to and be a stand for who we really are and make the space for our facades to drop away.
When they left it was like a huge hole had been ripped from our lives and it wasn’t until I actually let them know how much I was missing them, that things felt ‘right’ again. I think that’s the risk that love is; to open our hearts and be there fully with and for someone; giving and receiving, knowing that love does not possess, or stifle, or control, but rather celebrates the full expression of our being true to ourselves. Love expressed is a freedom; withheld, it becomes a distortion and entraps us or turns to fear.
So … share your love … always, not only at Christmas. Let people know what they mean to you. Set aside the things that can wait and make time for yourself and the people and pursuits which really do nourish and enrich your life at a deeper level. And if this means putting aside judgements and disappointments and grudges and self-righteousness, so be it. However long we have here on this planet, when all is said and done, it will most likely be too brief.
Inner Sense No. 17 | December 2009
This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightening in the sky rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other; to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, light-heartedness and love we will create abundance and joy for each other and then this moment will have been worthwhile.
Gautama Buddha, the Founder of Buddhism