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Letting go of Attachments
July 29, 2016
Attachment to outcome has probably been the biggest challenge on my own parenting path. Little wonder then that my central task as a mother seems to be practicing the art of nonattachment. And so I look to the wisdom of others to remind me of what I already know: I can love and care for my children, but I can’t possess them. I can assist them, and hope the best for them, and wish them well, but in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their choices and their destinies, not on my wishes.
It surprised me to notice today that none of the quotes that keep me on track as a parent actually come from books about parenting. For the other thing this journey of motherhood has taught me is that my children are not extensions of me, and my real work isn’t about changing them, or shaping them into the people I think they ought to be. It’s about changing myself – learning to soften, to trust, to pay attention, to accept, and, most of all, finding the strength to let them become the best versions of who it is they already are.
So, here are some quotes that I refer to regularly and thought you may like to keep as well...
“To bow to the fact of our life’s sorrows and betrayals is to accept them; and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine.” — Jack Kornfield
“I try to remind myself that we are never promised anything, and that what control we can exert is not over the events that befall us but how we address ourselves to them.” — Jeanne DuPrau, The Earth House
“Who you are is made up of three persons. There is the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the one you really are. Work towards making all three the same. Then there will be peace and bliss.” — Sri Sathya Sai Baba
“Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. The future will unfold.” — Peace Pilgrim
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” — Karen Kaiser Clark
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” — Buddha