Friday, June 03, 2011

extending the metaphor

So, I talked the other day about parenting yourself. Once I had accepted that idea, and begun to put it into practice, I realized that I had to extend the metaphor. If we are all truly interconnected, and I have to parent myself, it follows that I have to parent everything.

I have to extend that same respect, tenderness, and nurturing that I offer myself as far as I can. I have to extend that difficult job of letting go, of encouraging growth, of being stern when needed, out beyond the boundary of self and into the world.

I have wondered before what compassion demands. How can we forgive, or love, someone who does terrible things? I think now, I have the answer. I can do it as a parent does it, when their child disappoints or does something hateful. Sometimes you have to attempt to correct the behavior; sometimes you have to step back and let the lesson unfold. Sometimes you can do nothing at all-just hope for the best.

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