Food for the soul.
Today i had an absolutely wonderful time sharing my life with my girlfriends. It rubbed my heart, touched my sense of person and it not only left me with a deep feeling of fulfillment, but also gave me an even deeper sense of gratitude for the gift of having each other. The time with my girls was worth a day of my life. We share a history of life experiences, each one stored in the treasure chest of our hearts and as we sat together for hours and hours, totally oblivious of time and place, we took out memory after memory, and cherished them like precious jewels. I prized our friendship even more as we recounted it’s length and it’s rewards. I hallowed the bond formed and forged from laughter loaned and tears borrowed. A bond of sacred sisterhood; legitimate by loyalty, thick as blood. At the end of the day, i observed the healthy glow of my face in the mirror and laughed in meriment; half child, half girl! My smile was a rosette of joy, happiness and heartfelt delight. I was exuding that quality of peace in oneself that flows out of being at peace with others. It was a big high for me. It filled my emotional tank. I had experienced with kindred spirits the wisdom of God in making friends!
Erhm, did i mention that it was wonderful?
MUM! I’m Not Your Baby!
I and my mum speak to each other at least once everyday so when recently she started calling me two, three or four times in the day, i didn’t need a louder signal than that to recognise she wanted me around. So i packed my bags and headed home hoping i was making a good decision and that whatever i would be putting on hold or in second place would wait for me. Once home it was quite surprising how i quickly eased into my old ways. I still preffered to read and write seated on my old bed rather than use a table, i still found it hard to leave the house and i still loved my bed. The rewards of being back were peace and quiet, regular and healthy food, longer hours of sleep, sessions in front of the tube plus i got to dodge house work in the name of seniority, i mean if it was unpleasant or inconvenient, i remembered i was the senior! I thoroughly maximised the moment for i knew that the moro cometh when i would lust for my independence again.
Isn’t it puzzling that no matter how old we grow our parents still see us as their babies. When we are young the relationship we have with them is uncomplicated. In fact we learn early in life the way we relate to our parents, we are conditioned by nature and habituated by their nurturing to play the role of a child. But as we grow older and change, the relationship also changes and our roles evolve along entirely different lines. Perhaps unfortunately, no one teaches us how to manage the different facets it metamorphosis into and we are forced to figure it out by ourselves. It is at this point that fathers loose their sons and daughters hate their mothers. This is not the picture God had in mind for our relationships with our parents. That’s a malfunction of the design that was intended by the manufacturer. God’s actual picture is one of peace and harmony between parents and children. The bible says it’s a good and pleasant thing for brethren- members of the same family, to dwell together in harmony and that it is within that type of unity that he commands his blessings.
During our teenage years we start to develop our own views about life. We tend towards the opinion of our peers more in the interest of solidarity than by the force of individuality. It is at this age we begin to test theories and experiment with convictions. We start to disagree with our parents and resent the imposition of their standards on us. We hold waring opinions on what to wear, where to go, what time to stay out, which course to study, whom to date e.t.c and if it is not handled properly it often ends in a battle of wills where the one party who wins the battle, looses the war. Consequently, the emotional umbilical cord from parent to child is yanked off and we never regain the level of intimacy, trust, respect and even love we shared with our parents in our early years.
As we mature, that cord of love is further tested by our transition into adulthood. Our parents struggle to accept that we have grown and they fight to hold on to the level of control they used to have but this makes us shift even further from them as we struggle for independence and strive to shake off their influence and control. They want to be relevant in our decisions but we often assert our independence and maturity by taking decisions on our own or ignoring their advice. Our financial dependence is the last of our dependencies we grow out of and from there on we are our own. It seems we don’t need them anymore. Worse, as our parents grow older we notice their flaws, we judge their results, we criticise their choices, we blame them for their failures and even ours. In the end all that is left is over used courtesy and distant respect. The gulf all but widens until there is no hope for any intimacy with them. Our heros who though at one time faced the world with brazen confidence, suddenly contract a disturbing fear of it. They become intimidated by rapid changes they have not caught on with or distressed by thoughts of the future and as their hands grow frail on the reins of life, ours attain mastery of it. The wheels have turned. It is at this point that the child becomes the parent and vice versa and they may need to depend on us for emotional, mental and financial support.
And although we have played our role of being our parent’s children by force of habit in our developing years, as the circle turns and we earn our independence, we must rely on a greater force to keep the balance in the evolved relationships with our nearest and dearest- Love. Love makes the effort to involve them and make them feel relevant, respected, loved and valued. We may have to rediscover them, we may have to resist the pull of our busy lives to keep in touch with them, maybe even take an interest in something they love and make it our thing just to get along. And even though we now know that they are far from perfect and may get on our nerves from time to time, we have to find common ground to walk with them on.
I miss mine just writing this and i think i’ll just stop here and make a quick phone call eh?