(ON THEIR MOVING ON IN LIFE )
While it seems that I have been thrashing along a spiritual pathway for a lifetime. Recently I have realised that there is a way to raise the spiritual platform from which I am working. From that realisation has come a deep aspiration to meet the challenge, and with that a recognition that there are a number of things I need to do, with a range of people, to make this happen.
It seemed vital, as one of my twin sons and his wife prepared to move from Australia to the USA, that I established this new platform and a new spiritual relationship with them, right now. Simultaneously, my youngest son is leaving home for Brisbane, some 2000 kilometres away.
It must be said, before going on that our relationships are strong in any case. However, within that strong relationship I was aware of a myriad mistakes I had made over the years and even as recently as this week. Many of these mistakes were small, and none so large that it prevented us a real and close bond. Indeed, many of the mistakes or rather failings, have been at the threshold of asserting real love. I have realised, however, that many of these mistakes and failings have really been a lack of a deeper awareness of my own being as a channel of love. While I have been aware of the waves of the names of God breaking against each other across my corner of existence, aware of those waves roiling out into infinity, creating futures with love, I have been also aware of my lack of deeper clarity of the movement of those waves. A poor surfer of the waves of love, I have yet needed to act in each moment, and in that acting have been mostly just crashing through with family, friends, co-workers. It is now time to take the challenge, to ride the wave to the breakover, to truly surf on that vulnerable top of the enormous power of love into the future.
So, last night, as we prepared to sit down to eat together for the last time for a while, I felt a deep anxiety about saying something to them, to elevate the tone of our relationship. It seemed a shame that I had only come to this point as they are leaving. Within that experience of shame, a great grief came over me, and I found myself crying on the floor of my room. As I cried, I found myself looking at the source of those tears, and the grief, and found that they were anchored in my own desire to have everything managed according to some internal rules of ‘my ideal life’. As the tears cleared the emotional tension, the dissonance between my desire to be a lover and my resentment to give up my ‘rules’, relaxed. It became clear that I must say what I need to say. It occurred to me, in that moment, that this is courage. Not to be brave and take the battle out there into the family or into the community, to achieve something, but to drop shield and sword, and walk out there, vulnerable, sacrificial.
A calmness began to insinuate itself upon my mind, and I began to formulate what I needed to say. I seemed able to hold better focus, better clarity, on the thoughts of transformative action than ever before. I realised there were two messages I wanted to send off with my children: A plea for their forgiveness; and a vision of a future with them as powerful servants for humanity.
To the extent I can remember what I finally said, here is my speech.
“To my children who are leaving to their new lives, especially to Nathan and Danielle who are off to LA for a couple of years on the next stage of their life’s adventure, and also to Reuben who is leaving home for the first time to start his own life in Brisbane, I want to say a couple of things.
Firstly, over the years raising children and to now, I feel I have made many mistakes. For all those mistakes, and the mistakes you have felt the edge of, I want to ask your forgiveness. I ask your forgiveness so that, if there was anything in my own mind about you, that lead me to that mistake, I may purge it from my mind so that all I see before me are your true spiritual selves. I don’t ask forgiveness for any gain except that comes from being able to enjoy living in the atmosphere of your spirituality. I ask forgiveness so that if you feel even the mildest resentment to me for the mistakes I have made, you might let that resentment leave your heart, to return that space to the love of Baha’u’llah, and to a greater love and giving and sharing for humanity.
Secondly, you will have a wonderful life of service to humanity and achieve great things. I would like you to think on these things. Give up the burden of gain to follow aspirations of love, giving, sharing, and service. Make ever bigger space in your heart for love and service. Follow then the creative path of service that your heart will lead you. And if, in following that aspiration, you find yourself in need, be assured that you can ask me for assistance, for support. Be comfortable and be confident to ask for my support, you can count on it.”
This morning as they have left for the airport, I decided to write the little speech down. I will have to give it, or a version, a few more times, yet. I feel that I am wandering out into unknown territory, ungrounded and a little vertiguous, and a little confused at the direction I am going. Later I want to be able to look back and see where this moment has lead. Perhaps there will be other things to say, then, of which I am yet unaware. I hope so. Maybe I will find that there is no real ‘top’ to the wave of love. I hope so. Maybe I will find that there is no ceiling to my service for my family and humanity. I hope so.