Bowing to the altar of love
A seismic shift in thinking can happen with a single book. Or a single experience. Or a combination of both.
The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute is one such book. Sending my son to the outback in Utah to find himself is one such experience. His journey has just begun, tenderly, hopefully, joyfully with a huge dose of angst on my part. And perhaps on his as well.
We walk this Earth with so many great plans. And when life takes us down another path not included in those plans, we are often fearful. What we thought was a loving gesture can often reveal something entirely different when we peer beneath the surface.
The Anatomy of Peace has taught me we have two hearts: the heart at peace and the heart at war. When we come from a place of love, we are calm. When we come from a place of war, we are not. Even if we act calm, our true way of being seeps through. And no one has a more fine-tuned radar than children. They see beneath the surface. They feel the falsity. And they act out based on our deep-seated emotion much more than our outward appearances.
What I have learned is that being at peace on the inside no matter what happens on the outside is the most effective way of dealing with others. Oftentimes we keep ourselves inside boxes of I-am-better-than, I-deserve, I-need-to-be-seen-as or I-am-worse-than. Each of us has a preference.
All these years I wanted to be seen as a superhero mama, a fantastic person who raised amazing people to adulthood. Then adolescence set in and the twists and turns took me on a wild ride.
I did not always react well. In fact, being in reaction to things is the weakest position we can find ourselves in. And while we say we are acting out of love, our overprotectiveness can hinder our children’s progress.
I realize that now. And through this realization I have also seen that to love another also means to let them go, to trust they will find their way even when they fail, make mistakes, wander down dark hallways and call me names.
Forgiveness plays a large role in keeping in the heart’s center. And that forgiveness extends to ourselves and even to those leaders who clearly have issues reaching back to their origins. They may call people names, but their pain is so blatant that only love can keep us going in the face of their angst too.
I bow to the altar of love. It is the place of strength that will get us through absolutely anything.