My daughter came home one day and I could tell something was a bit off. She was quiet yet agitated, asking me unending questions as she does when she’s nervous. Asking me for the 3rd time if eyes could spontaneously pop out, I said no, that usually doesn’t happen. She burst into tears and confessed it all: Her friend told her that because she touched his magic poison bracelet her eyes would pop out when she looked in a mirror. She was sobbing hysterically as she told me the story. I listened, maintaining the serious tone of her feelings. She continued weeping, begging me not to make her take a bath, go potty or brush her teeth because our bathroom has a mirror the length of the wall.
I saw how real and frightening this experience was for her. I’d never seen her so distressed before. Her dear friend told her of her certain destiny – so it must be true. She was mortified and terrified as she contemplated her fate. To make things worse, he said if she told anyone, he would no longer be her friend. She loves so deeply, she didn’t want to betray her friend even though he seemed to have betrayed her.
To her, it was as real as anything she’s ever experienced at her tender age of 5. I thought about my options, how to handle this sensitive situation. Rather than disregard her intense feelings by saying it could never happen, I decided to support her in the reality she created for a while and see if she could come to her own conclusions. She’s dismissed my “great wisdom” many times before, so I decided to let her find her own truth. I pondered how it might help her to learn how to navigate friendships, fear and betrayal. Buckling on my serious face, we did her evening routine together, hiding her face from the mirror the whole time. I was a bit miffed with her friend as I played the game of keeping her safe from the mirror. I questioned myself as I fretted about how many nights we might carry on this charade. As fate would have it, when drying off from her shower, she accidentally peeked at the mirror and panicked, begging me to see if her eyes looked strong and sturdy. I inspected, felt around her closed eyes with slow scrutiny, and told her they seem even stronger than ever. She was relieved and elated. We went about the evening routine. Since she was feeling better, I gingerly brought up the subject of talking to her friend tomorrow. “Did Henry lie to me?” she began. Again, I allowed her to come to her own conclusions. I could see her wheels turning and she decided to take a couple friends with her and confront Henry, telling him in no uncertain terms that her eyes didn’t pop out. I sensed her strength and conviction and learned the value of allowing such lessons. Bedtime came and went without a hitch and I breathed a sigh of relief as the evening came to a close.
The story actually continues to this day (but that’s another blog post) I’ve considered my own lessons from this event.
In the microcosm of parenting, I feel like I experienced a tiny bit of how God and the Universe give beautiful allowance in our lives. I see the similarities to how we navigate in this world. Drama comes at me and I completely believe it to be 100% real and I respond to that ‘realness’ with tender and wild emotions. No parent or deity comes by to mock my pain by saying, “Give it up, it’s not real…” God, the Universe, Life itself compassionately lets us come to our own conclusions which, if we let it, become deep life lessons. Wow, so I’m never abandoned by God or a heartless universe as it allows pain to persist, I am so loved that I’m allowed my experience, my voice, my emotions and my lessons. I experienced my own patience and compassion as I walked through this with my daughter. I’m absorbed by the idea of the infinite patience and compassion of this universe in which I live. Even going further, in my oh so long spiritual path 😉 now that I know the truth so well (I’ll give you another wink 😉 I pondered how I treat my Self when my harsh reality bumps into the illusion. Do I sternly tell myself; “This pain is ridiculous, you know it’s not real, get over it.” Or do I hold patience and compassion for my little girl self and allow my own experience, my own voice, my own emotions and my own deep lessons?
It was an amazing experience to go through mother to daughter. I want to bring that same love and compassion to my Self and to wholly and persistently see the Universe as a loving Mother-Father-God even as I experience ALL that I am here to experience.