I’m watching a woman at the Colorado Springs Metaphysical Fair interact with two children who are with their father and visiting her booth. The woman is stunning, well over 6 feet tall, slender, and with an energy that is hard to resist. She reaches out and strokes the younger child’s cheek. The little girl glows. Then the woman gently touches the older girl’s back. And I wonder what I’ve been missing in resisting those sweet, intimate moments.
I never wanted children, and I do mean never. Didn’t like them at all, felt uncomfortable with infants, judged the younger ones with their loud noises and raucous behavior, terrified of the callousness and narcissism of teens. Never mind that I must have lived through each of those stages myself, although I don’t remember it that way. What I remember is being shy, bullied by my classmates and cousins and made fun of because I had one of those bodies that these days would be called “voluptuous” but back then was just considered fat.
It seemed there was a lot of “stuff” going on for me around children. Recently, I had what I can only call a moment of extreme stupidity with my stepdaughter. That moment, and the ensuing moments, feels as though it was a turning point for me. I finally faced, worked through, and released the source of my fear and loathing of children and am on the path to healing and expanding my life’s purpose.
Anyone who has been a step-parent knows that at best, it is a difficult journey. You’re not “mom” (or dad), but you are an authority figure. You are a third wheel in the parental unit triad at your house, and there’s always the specter of the real mom (or dad) hovering in the background, be they living or passed.
I didn’t want to usurp real mom’s place. So I stayed out of the way. I had no confidence in my abilities as a mom. I was afraid of not being liked. I was incapable of being present for the children in front of me. I honestly did not know how to act or be a mom. Zero nurturing skills, always an arms length between me and the child.
When I met Glenn, I had just left a relationship where I had been pretty well stomped on and I was not going to let that happen again. Over the years he and I have worked hard to achieve what we have. My heart has opened up, and as his daughter grew up, she and I slowly, slowly, grew to respect one another. I always loved his little girl; I just didn’t know how to show it or embody it. But we were getting along pretty well, and then I opened my big mouth.
The moment of stupidity – I confessed to her that I “hated little kids”, with their extreme behaviors and whatever else I said. She was deeply hurt, which I didn’t find out for days. She has a six-year old daughter (who is delightful, by the way, developing probably better than most six-year olds, but which I, in my blindness, could not see). Oh dear. What I had been trying to say and what actually came out of my mouth were so different that I’m sure it was a divine kick in the bum carefully crafted to get me to ask some questions of myself and get over whatever has been ailing me for millennia.
Abject apologies ensued, the rift was band-aided, but there was more I needed to do. I needed to get to the bottom of this lack of concern and caring, this hatred and fear, that I had for children. I consulted with my spiritual guide and mentor. What was I missing? She took me back, back, back to a lifetime where some children tormented and ultimately killed a dog. Guess who I was. In that lifetime, it was a lesson for all of us. As the dog, I was their stepping stone to the realization that kindness far outweighs cruelty, and to that end I was committed to wherever the outcome went. None of us knew it would end in physical death. The children, my tormentors, learned their lesson in compassion well and moved along. Unfortunately, I got stuck. The event shaped for lifetimes for me a fear and distrust of children of any age.
I could feel in my soul the truth of this experience. I was so incredibly sad. Then, over a period of weeks, I felt angry, truly angry, at every child I saw. How DARE they?? All children were vermin! They should not be allowed anywhere near anything weaker than they! This went on for days. I could not look at a child without feeling completely repulsed. I was working through all of the emotions I had kept bottled up since the incident happened all those lifetimes ago.
Gradually, rage moved on and I found myself looking at children with a more tolerant eye. Recently, I’ve watched them with an “isn’t that sweet” sort of attitude. Now, though, it is not just lip service. I’m not saying “isn’t that cute” because I think that’s what I should say. I’m feeling the emotion behind the words. There is a longing to let those little ones know that all is well, and the world is as wondrous as they think it is, and to pray that they are able to keep that feeling throughout their lives. There is a wanting to interact with them (and in fact, I had a little girl visit my booth at a recent fair who just sat and chatted with me for a while. It was so much fun, and she was delightful). There’s a knowing that their stages of development are just that, and that they are not little adults, but beings who (thankfully) see the world through their own beautiful eyes and experience.
My stepdaughter has been a catalyst for change for me, much like I was a catalyst for those children in my doggy life. I have so much respect for her courage, and I am so grateful to her and her loving husband for putting my behavior in my face and giving me the opportunity to, at last, let go of the past, and in humility and hope move on to a future with love, light, and a growing synergy with children.
Ashara Morris is an Animal Communicator and certified EGCMethod(R) coach. She does actually enjoy children these days and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 720.737.0495, or through her website, http://www.harmonysheartanimals.com.