Monday, January 25, 2010

Untainted eyes

Yesterday, I was given a rare glimpse into the heart and psyche of my youngest daughter – the one I tell “I love to the moon and back,” yet with whom I experience so much friction.

It occurred to me during Sunday silent worship that the reason she pushes is because she does not know the “unwritten” rules that my husband, oldest and I were born knowing. Because we have this innate sense, we have not realized she does not. Had she been the first born, we may have been forced to figure it out earlier and/or differently.

I am beginning to understand that she arrived into the midst of something unspoken. Something the others of us take for granted. I have known she feels like an outsider. A couple of years ago, I had her draw a circle with dots for each of us and place them where she wanted. We were ALL inside the circle, but she was distanced from the rest.

It was just an instant knowing, a gift, and I quickly journaled a poem that opened the wisdom for me. A poem from her perspective that brought me to tears.

I later shared it with my husband, who seemed to believe it held some truth, so I considered sharing it with Lily. When I went to her room for that purpose, we tussled as we usually do and I was not in the right frame of mind to share. She begged as is typical and, after Autumn – she does not like the conflict, but sometimes it is necessary – calmed us both down, I changed my mind and read her the verse. She said it sounded like her, especially the part about being the troublemaker. Just as I was thinking I needed to read it again [I wanted her to really hear the poem, not just how she has been labeled], she made the same request and, while listening, looked me dead in the eyes as if I had seen her soul.

That look is engraved on my heart and I hope I never forget it.

She woke up early this morning, was ready ahead of schedule, did her chores unprompted and banished the snarling.

She needed to be seen. Don’t we all?

• When have I felt truly seen or heard?
• What was that experience like?
• Is there someone in my life I need to look at more closely and less critically?
• Is there a prayer I can say to help me open to that?

Open my heart
and dissolve
the negative

Create a blank canvas
so I may see
with new, untainted eyes

Let me know
to my core
that we are all
children of God

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