I find myself very moved emotionally by a sermon this morning at my spiritual home – Palo Alto Unity Church. We had a guest speaker Dr. Fred Luskin who is both a psychologist and the founder of the Forgiveness Project at Stanford University.
Fred spoke first of the subject frequently spoken of in the Buddhist faith of impermanence. How things are always changing, shifting, growing, contracting. Even as we take a breath it is different than the one prior to it.
As Ariel is about to “graduate” second grade and move to a new school in the Fall, I find myself struck by this concept of change. If I am honest with myself, I have been more focused on the destination/end result of her testing into and being accepted into the new school. I have yet to sit either with myself or with Ariel and process this transition about to come for her.
There is so much doing in school these days, so many tests that are more about API scores for the schools than personal achievement for the individual child. It is for that reason and many others that we are teaching our child that all she has to do is show up, do her best and have some fun every day at school.
Fred went on to speak about the emotional life cycles of all human beings. That we start off as beings who are totally dependent upon our caregivers for all things – food, shelter and love. At some point we become able to provide those things for ourselves and for most – the journey to strive for prestige and material “stuff” begins. Buying your first car, first home and a myriad of other belongings.
Then in the third stage of life which I find myself in – most of us are struck by the deep knowing that we have enough stuff and we seek to find our true purpose in the world. We start to think about what our legacy will be when we are gone and how can we make a difference in the world.
For this mid life Mommy, this phase is a little trickier than for some other mid life people as I am still very much in the process of caring for my sweet daughter. The dance of finding things outside our family I want to learn, acts of kindness to do for others and also care for our family can be at times very challenging. I cannot say with any certainty that I have the balancing act yet sorted out. But it is something I am thinking about and doing my best to manage.
And in closing, I find myself very much wanting to take moments to stop in the chaos of life and sit and just be more often. Ariel is growing up so very fast, very much becoming her own person with her own thoughts and feelings. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding her as a baby and now she is about to turn eight.
How do others feel about this topic of change and transition, I would love to hear your thoughts.