1/23/15

The bud and the blossom

Spark of the day:

See the blossom while looking at the bud.


I'm reading a parenting book (because every few months I seem to need a refresher) called Permission to Parent, by Robin Berman. It's full of parenting goodness, but what's interesting is how much of the book seems to apply beyond the child/parent relationship.

I was taken in particular by a list of parenting tips, appearing toward the end of Chapter Four. The first on the list is, "See the blossom while looking at the bud." (I love poetic lines like that, which give you an image to illustrate the message. It makes the message so much more memorable.)

It brought to mind several friends of mine who seem to have internalized this idea, not just as parents, but in how they interact with everyone around them. They are always seeing the best in others, and seeing potential where others do not.

I treasure the friends who see blossoms in me that I can't yet see in myself. They make me want to live up to their vision. I hope I can do this for my children, and for my family and friends. What a gift.

From there, the list continued to deliver great pearls of wisdom:
  • See the blossom while looking at the bud.
  • Visualize your child's greatest self; hold that image in difficult times.
  • Listen to understand, not to judge.
  • Hold a loving space for negative or charged emotions.
  • Create a safe place for feeling known and understood.
  • Pay attention to the emotion behind the words.
  • Own and apologize for your mistakes.
  • Circle back if you miss something.
I printed it out and posted it to my bulletin board. It's a great list for parents, and applies to spouses and friends too.

But here's the best part: Read the list one more time and think of your relationship with yourself. Read in that context, I come away with these gems:
  • You are a person in transition, growing into a more fully formed, greater version of yourself, like a bud to blossom.
  • Listen to your intuition, not your inner critic.
  • Allow yourself to be angry, sad, or disappointed. These feelings must be allowed to be heard.
  • Be your own best friend, treating yourself with the care and concern that a good friend would.
  • When you make a mistake, find the lesson, forgive yourself, and allow yourself to move on.
  • You are ever changing. Pay attention to your inner life so that you don't miss opportunities to know yourself better and to grow.
Wise words usually work in more than one context. Love it when I find something like that.

Hope it resonated with you too.

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Spark of the Day is a blog series where I document and share the ideas that spark (i.e. resonate with) me. They are usually either ideas I come across during my day, or ideas I have as a result of my work and personal writing. Spark is the "one word" I have chosen for 2015.

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