My niece had a boy…beautiful baby. Yesterday, we all gathered for the Jewish ‘bris’ which occurs on the 8th day of a boy’s birth to bond him with Judaism and to celebrate the naming of this beautiful child. As I reflect on the experience for me and those around me, I realized every situation has room to learn about loving ourselves.
The event was at 3 pm, and I just made it. The New York City traffic can be a bit challenging, especially on a sunny, Saturday afternoon when everyone has the urge to get out of the house and do something. Sometimes it’s obvious why there is a traffic jam. Though many times I reach the area where the bottleneck was, and I have no idea what caused the traffic to slow down to almost ‘non-moving.’ My thought is the angels of the road are having fun with us.
Even though I was a bit anxious about being on time, the family event didn’t start until 3:30. It was a short service, yet for the mother, filled with anxiety and emotions, this rite of passage for a boy within Judaism can be challenging. The mother just gave birth and houses intense feelings, is tired from the birth, and family and friends are in her home, all while she tries to settle her self into motherhood. She is a brand new mother…8th day into her new role.
What I learned from yesterday’s experience is that I can be a witness to my niece’s journey without having to make it better for her. She’s a new mother and us mature mothers had the wisdom to share…galore. We wanted her to feel better, yet it’s her journey, and she needs to travel down her road. What I noticed about my behavior was my need to redirect her feelings to feeling better.
Was I trying to make it better for her or me? I suspect it’s both, though probably more for me. Why do I think that? My niece was expressing her present state and being true to herself. I wanted to offer my sage wisdom, some of which was helpful, though too much of a good thing is overwhelming for the receiver.
How often we women offer advice instead of just sitting there listening and trusting our friends or loved ones will know what they need to do.
When I quickly offered advice without stopping long enough to listen to my niece, I was stating that she didn’t know something and I needed to tell her. I trust both her and her husband in the decisions they have made and continued to form around their lives. They are good people…loving, sensitive and open to offering their best. I saw the deep commitment they have for each other in an intimate moment when my niece just turned to her husband, and he held her with all his love. They are quite capable of supporting and loving each other in this new life passage.
My niece has her wisdom, and she is capable of processing and learning from her feelings. She is not afraid to feel her feelings.
I learned two things from this experience. First, listening is a relief for me because I don’t have to do anything except be present. Second, I automatically judge myself when I behave in ways that I believe are not perfect. I sensed I was being emotionally invasive with my ‘advice’ with my niece and needed to back off and be with her.
My usual reaction is to judge myself around my behavior. Today I asked how I could take the judging thought and direct it towards compassion and self-loving for myself. Judgment towards myself or others doesn’t teach us, only adds negative energy into our lives. We learn from kindness and self-loving.
Life offers us lessons….where ever we go. Today, I stopped long enough to learn how to treat myself with compassion and loving thoughts.
What about you…Do you stop long enough to fill yourself with loving thoughts and compassion?
Women’s Group Topics
One of our topics in our group was how do we show compassion — to others and ourselves. When we focused on others, we had many different ways we show kindness to others. When we came to ourselves, we were limited in our thoughts, since we need to get beyond the many ways we judge ourselves. A powerful topic for all.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(By Pat Brill)
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