I have learned so much through my son. When I was 26 weeks pregnant, about 15 years ago, the doctor asked if I wanted to know, boy or girl? I said, sure. He then showed me two little legs on the image on the sonogram monitor's screen and this in between, he said, is a penis. It turns out that hospital policy didn't allow him to actually say boy or girl. He also couldn't point to a congenital halo of wisdom, an aura of patience, equanimity and understanding that my son would be born with.
I was overjoyed. It's a boy! It's a boy! It's a boy! To know he was a boy was to name him, to relate to him, to start to know him. When he was born, he was considerate, kind, and soft-spoken. He still is. He teaches without preaching. He just is. And it is in being who he is that I learn the biggest lessons.
In learning that he was a boy, I started thinking about everything I wanted to teach him, the ideas I wanted to pass on to him, what I wanted for his life. Yet, he is teaching me to see him, to really see him, without putting my interpretation of him on him, my aspirations, and my hopes. He is also teaching me to see others the same way, without judgment, preconceived notions, and expectations. My relationships are so much richer for it. In allowing others to be and not demanding that they fill my expectations, I am delighted by what I find in them and amazed by what I receive from them.
He's a boy. No, now he's a young man. As I think about this I think about how tempting it is to fill a list of presumptions, of a certain protocol to life that a boy, a young man, a girl, a young woman, a man, or a woman, must satisfy. This, however, creates pressure on people, the one expected from and the one with the expectations, and it can strain relationships. Seeing others as they are allows for deeper understanding and harmony in our interactions and relationships and yields a more rewarding exchange. Today is a good day to see others without our wants, needs and conditions before our eyes. Let us see others the way they are. Let us see others and not our thoughts about them. What gems, what light, what new insight might we discover by doing so. Let us be surprised, let us free ourselves of the heaviness of our thoughts about others and feel ease by seeing them as they really are.
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