Your Children Are Not Your Children
The process of letting go can be traumatic or empowering depending on the lens through which you see it.
Reframing or changing perspectives on how we view the world can help our understanding and processing of life’s toils.
I had a beautiful conversation with a wise soul about the process of letting go of my daughter as she embarks on the next journey in her life. The conversation led to a piece of poetry that helped me with my reframing.
The poet’s name is Kahil Gibran, and his best-known work is “The Prophet”. The irony of the reframing of the word profit is most apt. His poem on Children is filled with deep wisdom.
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.
My perspective on the world is that I take the responsibility of the archer, rather than outsourcing it to some mythical third party. Like most things in life, use what works for you and discard what doesn’t.
The role of the archer is not to hold on to the arrows in his/her quiver, but to release them. The idea of releasing my daughter on the “path of the infinite” for her to find he own mark is quite satisfying. My role was to craft the arrow so that it “may go swift and far”. I have confidence that I have done that and now it is time for the arrow to do what it must do.