The reason I call this post Bitter Sweet is because the lesson learned is priceless but the bitterness of learning is really very bitter. When a mother tries to hold on to her children for her own benefit; be it loneliness, financial or just because she can’t bare parting with them, the only result is the loss of love. In other words, removing liberty destroys love. This is explained very nicely in this book: “Could it be this simple” – which I offer free when you subscribe to my blog at the risk of being labelled a “Christian”, which I certainly am not in the “religious” sense.
When she was asked to re-unite with her mother she said:
“I’ve experienced the pain of separation from my mother. But I can’t imagine my mother’s pain. It must have been worse than mine although self inflicted. She didn’t know what she was doing to herself. Of course it can’t be nice. I tried but couldn’t fix it. I didn’t particularly cause her pain. She dominated me, so I escaped. And so she did it to herself. But to lose a child – not through death but because they disappear from your world willingly? I don’t know – she must be very brave. It must probably be the most painful thing ever. In contrast to that, the freedom I have now by no contact is worth it. I should feel terrible saying that but the pain of that separation doesn’t compare – so I don’t feel terrible. I feel free. It is bitter sweet.”
Domination and Manipulation
I have met so many mothers (and fathers by the way) who live with depression because they are stifled by the continuous domination of their parents. The subtle manipulation causing condemnation is uncanny. Parents seem to think that their children are their “coat of arms”, i.e. examples of their so called effective parenting. They can’t ‘get it’ that their children are 50 already and have their own life to live and learn from – they are not trophies. They need to be allowed to “do their own thing“, independently of their parents and their parent’s opinions. Parents want to manipulate their children to live and behave according to their values and beliefs instead of allowing their children to discover their own values and beliefs. What the neighbours will say is more important than their children’s joy.
I want to say that this is why people take things like ayahuasca or psilocybin to gain “insight” because they think that they might possibly be relieved from the pressure they are under to behave “as they should” to be considered worthy – but I guess I’ll be clobbered for that. Of course I don’t have any revolt or resistance to taking these substances but I do think that real insight can’t come from taking a substance like that. I think that the help they possibly get from taking them is actually the realisation that there is more to this life than what they believe and it perhaps gives them hope. If you enjoy these practices and believe in them go ahead. This is just my opinion.
Unconditional Love, Joy and Peace
To me the process of going through possibly dying and only surviving through surrender is a real thing – a bitter sweet experience. But this doesn’t have to be induced by taking substances. I think this life was set up to take you to a place where you either commit suicide or you surrender. You choose to die or you choose to live. Once you’ve been through this process and you survived it, (I call it the valley of the shadow of death) in a real life way, you begin to experience enlightenment; true insight; self acceptance; worthiness; forgiveness; mercy and most of all grace.
It is a process. And a process that you go through alone because you finally connect to the infinite power that lies deep within you. You have company! All the time! That reminds me … didn’t Jesus say “The kingdom of God is within you.”? Isn’t it the mercy seat? The chamber within your heart where you no longer experience any pain or gain. You experience unconditional love, joy and peace. Worthiness. Which I guess could be considered gain although I have learned that joy and peace is actually my natural default state.
Life’s Longing For Itself
So although I don’t look forward to the day my children leave home to get married as they build and enjoy their own lives, I continuously remind myself that they only “came through me and not from me” as Khalil Gibran says in The Prophet.
While I interact with them I can hear their dreams and the risks they are wanting to take. My hair often stands on end but I constantly remind myself that they are life’s longing for itself. They have to more brave than I am and they are equipped to be. Children are the ones that take the energy of creation to further limits. They are the ones that will comprehend the purpose of creation even more deeply than I have. This is why I believe the Bible says that children are a blessing. Without them, life cannot continue. I sincerely pray, every night, that they will be treated and supported as the future. Let’s not condemn them by expecting them to learn and be like our generation. Let’s support them in their inherent unconditional love, joy and worthiness so that the future can be as bright as they expect it to be.
It is a Bitter Sweet letting go but for me, as a parent, it is my contribution to the continuation of the glory of this thing that we call life. When you experience the sweetness of surrender there is no turning back. The only way you can experience it is by going through the bitterness of the valley of the shadow of death.