Something quite amazing happened to my daughter and I over 13 years ago last April, something that “stuck” and forever changed the way I perceive any given circumstance. It was a little thing really, but it changed my perspective so dramatically that I can never go back to the old consciousness I once had.
My then seven-year old daughter got off the school bus, and walked up the old, cracked driveway to our house in upstate New York. I could see immediately that something was terribly wrong. From our living room window, I watched her make this short trip every day and I would always delight in what a happy child she was. It wasn’t unusual to see her skipping or singing, just taking joy in life itself, happy to be returning home, to her place of comfort.
But this day was different. She walked in the door and I instinctively knelt down and opened my arms wide. She dropped her books and ran to my arms. She sobbed. My first thought was that some malicious child had said a terrible thing to my sensitive little girl. Any parent knows that something rises up within them when one of their babies has been mistreated, even if it was by someone else’s little baby!
To my surprise, it wasn’t some malicious child. It was the librarian at her elementary school. I discovered at a later date that the librarian had been involved in several instances of ‘grouchyness’ with children. But even before that knowledge, I was of the opinion that she really should have retired several years prior. She wasn’t very pleasant and I suspect that she didn’t like her job or the children too much anymore.
At any rate, this was a huge upset for me. You must understand that although my daughter was reading on grade level, she didn’t seem to take great joy in reading, and it concerned both my husband and I. We were constantly looking for interesting material for her. We went to the library on a regular basis. The school library, in my opinion, is a place where children go to find not only books, but also nurturing, loving guidance from sweet librarians who love to read and help children, right? Is this too much to ask?
Well, this particular day I guess it was. Apparently, when my daughter asked the librarian for help finding a book, she was snapped at in some way that still eludes me. I do know that my daughter was, and still is, a very gentle spirit, and I find it difficult to believe that she could irritate anyone, other than my husband or I, to the point of snapping.
I truly like to believe that I operate in a semi-enlightened way and a little voice inside me quietly suggested that my ‘soon to be actions’ were not consistent with that of an enlightened being. Luckily, before I actually got in the car, went to the school and wrung this woman’s neck, I decided to stop, breathe, and simply ask myself how a wise and enlightened Grand Master would see this situation. Is there something to be learned or taught here?
Wow. An amazing thing happened. The answer was instantaneous. First of all, I was filled with compassion for this woman, who a moment ago was a wicked witch to be burned at the stake. It occurred to me that anyone who could be mean to a child (or anyone for that matter) had a very sad heart, indeed.
Nothing had changed really, just a slight adjustment in how I chose to view this incident, from love. I felt a sort of calmness, as if I had come into alignment with some Universal Truth. One can feel the energy when they’re in that space; it’s magnificent. It is power in its highest form.
Well, to make a long story short, I did my best to explain, in my best mom voice, that it wasn’t about her; it was about the librarian and her sadness. We spoke of that spark of God, or Divine Presence that lives in the soul of every living being. “Some of us are more aware of Its presence than others”, I said. “Is there anything we can do to help her?” I asked my daughter. “Well mom, I can draw a special picture and maybe she’ll smile. She never smiles. Then she won’t be sad!”, she answered happily. I watched something shift in her as well, clearly no longer a victim. The tears began to dry, and she went to work on a darling picture of the two of them holding hands. The happy ending to the story is that the “grouchy” librarian was, indeed, touched by my daughter’s gift of art. Perhaps no one had been kind to her in awhile; it’s likely we’ll never know, but according to my daughter, she smiled. That random act of kindness made some small shift in the librarian, and some big shift in my daughter.
There was that chance, of course, that it might not work. I had to make sure Haley understood that. No matter how hard my daughter tried to make Ms. Librarian smile, it might not happen. That’s the chance we have to take. But it’s the right chance, because it’s not about us; it’s about them. It’s not anything that we did. Some people can’t seem to express love and what we see is some bottled up version, but it’s the best they can do. We might just have to walk away and let someone else try to find her spark of Goodness. But until that time we must always look for the God-Self, not only in her, but also in every living being.
That little shift that Haley and I made thirteen years ago from last April literally changed the outcome of a situation, and such a valuable lesson for my daughter! If we stay in our heart space, bullies and mean adults lose their ability to be hurtful; compassion replaces anger.
Our children won’t always do the enlightened thing, no matter how shining of an example we are, and we shouldn’t lecture them. No one always makes the right choice, even when they’re fully aware. But if we, the parents, stay focused on our own light, our children will grow up into self confident, divine expressions of God, living life consciously. If you remain consistent in your example, one day when you least expect it, you will find your child making a decision that is way beyond his/her level of understanding. You will experience pure joy at the gift you have given. That is life changing.
Author of :The Grand Master/Little Master (Interactive) Series