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Monday, June 23, 2014

living with compassion.


If there is anything in this world that I am completely unqualified to talk about, it's compassion.

I've been chewing on the idea of compassion for a week now, it's absence in my heart leaving a big, gaping hole. I know I'm lacking it these days. It's in the tone of my voice when I speak to the receptionist at the cardiologist, as if it's her fault I got the appointment time wrong. It's forgetting to call a friend back when I say I will. It's in the eye-roll when I see a post on Instagram about a broken-hearted mama taking their kid to urgent care for stitches on their chin. It's when I tell my almost two year old (for the fortieth time in the last hour) that Elmo is tired and can't sing that song anymore and will you quit whining about it already?

I am learning it is very easy to become complacent about feeling stuck in a rut. Routine in my friend but also, it's a silent killer, sucking the life out of me in the day-to-monotonous-day routine. Crankiness is my daily forte and instead of asking how my day was you had better be bringing me another cup of coffee.

It's funny how motherhood works. It's a lot of routine, bottle-washing, and getting pulled on but occasionally there are these brilliant, magical moments of realization. Being a mother is not about perpetuating the human race, but confronting the ugliest parts of yourself and making the decision to change. My twenty -two month old, as most of you readers know, has been forced to face a lot of hard things in his short life, and as long as he lives he will continue to face them. It's unfathomably fair. And yet, somehow he manages to show compassion. The way he hugs his crying friend at the babysitter's house. The way he shares a loved toy or book with his grabby sister who can't reciprocate quite yet. The way he pats me on the back and lays his head on my shoulder at just the right moment; the moments I'm tired and sad and losing sight of my way. He knows about showing compassion to those around him without being told or asked. Somehow it's innate and I am positively floored by it. How does this little boy, who is speech delayed and forced to go to countless doctor's appointments to be poked, know how to live compassionately?

Seeing these acts makes me realize, allowing myself to feel complacent is irresponsible. I would only hope that Elliott (and his sister) continue to face the world with an open heart and show love to everyone they meet, always. Even when it's hard or they've been wronged. That is truly what this motherhood gig is all about.

2 comments:

  1. Motherhood is an extremely hard gig ... I love my children but it's not always easy to do and say the right thing all the time. Isn't it amazing how children aren't jaded yet... I love that ... :-)

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    1. Launna... Right?! How do these kids love me so much when I'm constantly scolding them for whining, just because I am tired? They are better than me, and it's inspiring!

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