If I could shout one thing from the rooftops to everyone, especially parents, it would be this! Let’s stop judging each other and start blessing each other.
Here goes with explaining what I mean…
The other day, I was driving home from dropping my daughter at kindergarten. Ahead of me I saw a mother who was clearly struggling. Her children were just about dressed, they were young and both had scooters. The mother appeared exhausted, under resourced on many levels and she was in that terrible place of frustration and exasperation.
Her children struggled to keep up behind her and, in her state of stress and fury, she marched across the road and left them to cross without help. Both being under 6 years old, they just blindly scooted their way across the road. Thankfully I was the car approaching so gave them lots of space and allowed them to cross safely.
And, inside myself at that moment, I felt a choice between two responses arise in me. One was pretty judgmental. How could she have done that? She didn’t even look back. What else is going on in their home if she does not have the strength to help them cross the road safely?
And the other response was much softer and much kinder. It came from a place of really seeing and out of this place arose a natural desire to bless. And so that is what I did. I blessed her path, and I wished her more ease. I blessed the children and I saw the truth in all of them and how they are all held and loved very deeply, even as they experience difficulty and lack in their lives.
And it really got me thinking about how we treat each other. In general and, in particular, parent to parent.
I have been quite shocked recently at how parents treat each other on-line, for example. When granted a degree of anonymity we seem to think it is ok to judge others’ choices. We think we our way is right. And it seems that the judgments feel especially justified in parenting circles, where opinions on how to raise children are so strong.
The truth is, there are millions of ways we can all find to make ourselves different – separate – to others. This is what judgment does.
Blessing brings us closer together. We find common ground. We see a mother or father shouting at their child and we think ‘I wish peace for you. I bless your path. And I can find this hard place in myself being reflected back at me. Thank you.’ And a blessing rather than a judgment is much more likely to help them.
And, guess what... we receive a blessing as we do this and we get to chip away at our rules, our conditions and our inner landscape of where we are hard on ourselves. Everyone wins.
So let’s start blessing each other, having compassion for ourselves and others and making the choice for love rather than fear with each babystep of gentleness we take - with ourselves and others (because it's really all the same thing).