DRE blog November 2013

Worthwhile Struggle

It’s happened so many times.

I’m in a hurry.  I’m rushing around trying to do three things at once, spinning my wheels about a bill I am not sure I can pay, and the phone is ringing, and we have to leave five minutes ago and I can’t find my keys, and nobody’s listening to me.  Right in the middle of my little  frenzy, my son walks in the room.  And he’s whining.

“Maaaamaaa!”

Do I:

a.        Patiently kneel down and listen carefully, find out what’s bothering him, and help him put it right.

b.      Snap at him to get his shoes on NOW because we’re LATE and STOP  that whining RIGHT NOW, so that he breaks down sobbing, convinced his mother has really lost it this time.

Unfortunately, way too often I’ve chosen b.  For which I have to forgive myself, of course.  None of us can be more than human.  Sometimes, though, I stop and think about all those times when a child came to me out of loving trust, and I responded with impatience.  Why do I keep doing that? 

In anxious times, when we allow our fears and our worries to run the show, this is what happens.  We forget to find the patience to be there for one another.  We forget to listen with compassion, and respond from a place of kindness.  We just forget, about what’s really important.

I’m working on it—on taking a minute to ask myself, “When they’re all grown and gone, what will I wish I’d done?”  It’s hard.  But as Utah Phillips, my beloved UU role model, said,  “If there’s a worthwhile struggle in my own life, well, that would be the one. “ 

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