I’m recalling a moment one evening recently when my son Ezra came right up to me at my desk where I was writing, and announced, “I need snuggles NOW Mom.”
I turned to him, and because I was in the middle of something, I asked him, “Right now?” Nodding, he repeated with seriousness, “Right now, please.”
I looked at him more carefully, noting tender softness around his eyes, and recognized he was clearly doing his very best to meet some vulnerability arising. Then I recalled earlier in the evening when he had walked into Wilder’s room to find me snuggling Wilder close in his bed while singing him a bedtime lullaby I used to sing to Ezra, when he was small. And how when Ezra had seen us so close together like that, he had quickly left the room, giving us space.
Putting the pieces together now, turning my whole body towards him, I asked gently, “Did you have some jealousy come up for you, my Love?” And he leaned all the way into me then, burying his big boy face into my neck, as he confessed softly, in a much younger version of his voice, “Yes. You were snuggling Wilder too much.”
At that I scooped him into my arms, all one hundred pounds of solid boy muscle, and staggered to the couch, four feet away, where I collapsed, cradling my big boy like he was tiny again, kissing his face, his head, rocking him close.
I said: “Oh, do you need to be reminded about how incredibly loved you are?”
He nodded, meekly. He whispered, “About how I am your special boy?”
I said, “Oh yes, my most special boy. That’s what you are. You are my Ezra Star. There is nobody else like you in the world. There is nobody I love in this way I love you. It’s a most incredibly special love all of its own.”
And how I watched his doubts fade from his face, rapidly replaced by the clear light of truth. How his cup was filled again as his needs were met.
And how he sat up then, took a deep breath, and regained his almost ten year old composure.
How he grinned at me, his cheeks flushed, as he said sheepishly, “Thanks, Mom. That really helped a lot.”
And how I beamed back at him, and said: “Anytime. You just keep letting me know what you need in all this, my Love. It’s so very helpful. I’m so proud of you for asking for what you need.”
As I witness all this outrageous trauma playing out on the global stage between man and woman, one of the most poignant components it illuminates for me is the power we hold in how we choose to steward our daughters and sons in these times. What is our part to play in creating something different for the rising generations?
I pray we can model for our daughters what it means to powerfully use her voice; what it looks like to embody true self-respect and self-care; what it is to know her sovereign worth and power in the world; to cherish the sanctity of her sexuality, and treat her own body as a temple. I pray we can model for her how to deeply honor the masculine; how to respectfully perceive his vulnerability and not feed his shame. How to honor him for his whole self, his strength and passion of purpose alongside his tender uncertainty; how to celebrate his accomplishments while embodying compassion for what’s still growing in him.
I pray we can model for our sons how to become self-respecting men of true power and integrity; men who value their own capacity to feel, listen, empathize, emote and attune with others; to boldly stand up for truth, and to know their sex as a sacred extension of their powerful hearts. I pray we can raise him to deeply respect the feminine; to honor her intuition, her body and her multi-faceted expression. How to honor her for her whole self, her depth and radiance alongside her sensitive needs; how to celebrate her victories while holding space for her evolving maturity.
I want us to continuously teach our children how to stay vigilant and aware of any signs of danger or violation, to trust the wisdom of their instincts, and to speak out bravely if they notice anything is off. I want them to value their ability to be brilliantly discerning and to clearly distinguish what’s ok from what’s not ok.
I want us to continuously model for our children how to stay in right relationship with alcohol and other substances; how to recognize the difference between medicine and poison in their own bodies, and how to directly meet their discomfort, grief, rage and despair, rather than seek to numb their pain.
I want them to know that what’s really, unbelievably “cool”, like, truly the coolest thing of all~ is to be real and honest and accountable; to say thank you, and I’m sorry; to take responsibility, to apologize, and to forgive.
Children who learn in the deepest way how to love and respect themselves—their own bodies, hearts and souls— grow into adults who inherently love and respect those around them; who come to lead others in a way that shines with radical dignity and decency and life-changing kindness.
In this way, modeling self-love, self-respect, restraint, courage and integrity feels to me like one of the most revolutionary actions we can take in these times. It’s no small task, but hey, we signed up for this. ~*~
When I discern the distinction between what is and is not my business, this immediately impacts my experience of life. It directly informs my embodiment of honesty, integrity and dignity. It frees up my life force to be directed only where it’s meant to go.
There is a subtle mechanism of self-listening that can alert us to whether we are attending to our own business, or something other than our business. I’ve found it can be extremely useful to turn up the volume on this mechanism of overhearing oneself— in thought, in action, in where we are placing our attention— and see if what we are attending is truly our own business, or in fact something else?
Sometimes this can be a surprising and counter-intuitive revealing! At times what seems to be entirely my business— such as an intimate unfolding in my personal life— when I check and see, is actually NOT my business at all! And the opposite can also be true. Sometimes the struggles or needs of seeming “strangers,” or global issues of far-reaching impact, when I really inquire within, are exposed to be entirely the business of my heart and prayers.
When I fail to mind my own business, sometimes the first clue is feeling bothered by something I can’t control. Another clue can show up as an intensely opinionated or righteous stance about my own or another’s life unfolding. Tending to business other than my own can conveniently serve to distract me in avoidance or procrastination around that which IS my business. It can also be a way of subconsciously resisting the discomfort of continuous uncertainty.
What IS our business—yours and mine??
I can tell you why this question matters for me, personally. It matters to me because life is fleeting, presence is precious, and attention is the currency with which we “spend” our life energy. I can’t speak for you, but I want my life to be of good use. I want to find fulfillment in the tedium, as well as the glory. I want each day for my attention to flow in the directions that can best serve my life’s offering and expression. I want to make LOVE my primary business. And to do that, to BE that, I need to clearly and honestly face everything else I make my business that runs contrary to this love.
When our own peace and love is truly our main business, and we take responsibility for the creation of anything other than that, we have a chance to move into right relationship with life. We no longer demand that Life dutifully perform and provide us with the experiences and people and exchanges that will bring us joy and security and peace. We instead realize that it’s none of our business what Life does, or what other people do. Our business is to meet our lives and whatever they bring with the precise presence of heart we wish to experience.
How about for you? How are you at minding your own business? 😉 When it really comes down to it, what is the business of your lifetime?? What do you want? Where is your attention?
I love you! ~*~