Buddhism for Mothers: Creating Loving Relationships
Yep. Another rose photo. Did you know when you joined this read-along you would also be bombarded with photos of my roses each week? ;) (I hope you’re enjoying them. I know we are!)
When I first started reading the chapter for this week, I struggled a little. I thought, if I don’t hold onto my opinions then who am I? How will I define myself? Upon further reading, I realized I misunderstood what the author means by “attachment”. We can still hold our own beliefs, of course, but the point is not to cling to them so tightly that we close ourselves off to any other point of view. Keeping an open mind and remembering to approach each situation with equanimity is key to a mindful existence. We won’t be able to treat others with compassion and loving-kindness if we hold so tightly to our own opinions that there is no room for growth or learning from the experiences of others, especially other mothers.
The Buddhist definition of love is a genuine wish that others be happy and free from suffering and disquiet. Real love is unconditional. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, not just in regards to parenting but in all relationships. How many times do we become upset because another person does not behave the way we want them to or their actions disappoint our expectations? This can be especially challenging in parenting. We all have dreams for our children but we do not own them. Our children are all part of a much larger whole, just as we are.
Earlier this week, our neighbors had a baby. I was on the back porch with my own children watching the rain when the husband came home. He hopped out of the car, grabbed an umbrella from the passenger seat, stepped out into the pouring rain, and shouted across the driveway “My wife delivered the baby this morning!” Then something happened. I was filled with absolute joy for this couple that was now a family. I felt nothing but pure happiness for people I barely know. It was wonderful. If I could relive that moment and invite you all along to experience it in the same way, I would. Certainly this must be something close to the sympathetic joy this chapter refers to?
I am thoroughly enjoying our read-along! My copy of Buddhism for Mothers is endlessly dog-eared and no longer lies flat on the table. It has been treasured, to be sure!
So, tell me, what are your thoughts this week?