And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Kahlil Gibran —The Profit (pp. 18-19)
Sometimes parents can have a misconception that they own their children. They assume because they gave birth to them, care for them, and are financially responsible for them, that gives them the final say on their life. Thankfully, I came across Kahlil Gibran while my kids were pretty young and I was able to grasp that I am the Bow from which my children are Living Arrows being sent forth. Seeing my job as the Bow was to send my children forth as Arrows took some of the pressure off. I was able to cast my focus further into the future and work more on strengthening the Bow—myself.
It’s unfortunate for parents who view their children as a possession. They are missing out on all the amazing lessons their children have to teach them. Being older doesn’t necessarily make a parent the expert on what the child should or shouldn’t do with their life. I am never able to possess their thoughts, hopes, or dreams. Their lives are just that—their lives.
If you have children, reflect on this today: They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. (By the way, that’s who you are, too!)
Have a blessed day.
Peace and Love!