When we choose to entertain lies because somehow we feel that they help our children, we do nothing else but teach our children that lying is the way to get through life. We underestimate our children if we think they cannot tell, even at young ages, that their parents are unhappy, that their relationship is loveless, that they (the kids) are a burden. Fake smiles, fat wallets and no boundaries are harmful wannabe blindfolds. They only teach one lesson: when lying to yourself gets too hard to bear, you can numb your feelings with these.
Any failure throws me in a vortex of such despair that I can’t even bear the thought of it. Perfection is still my dance and, in all of the work I have done with myself over the past decades, I have peeled only the outside layers of the onion: the middle, probably the stinkiest and hottest part of it, is still there, untouched, disguised as a quality that fools me into thinking I am helpful.
“It is easy to love a flawless God, with no stain and no mistake, the way He is. What is much harder is to love your fellow human, with all their habits and flaws. There is no wisdom without love. We cannot truly love Him or know Him until we learn to love Allah’s children.” (The Forty Laws of Love, Elif Shafak, pg. 120)
The only way we can build our children up to be resilient and strong is to allow them to feel hardship, to struggle, to have it hard. Sure, unconditional love and their basic needs must be, to the best of our abilities, provided for, but for the rest, how about we trust the individuals we are raising to emerge stronger out of this, ready to lead a world of tomorrow that we have a very, very hard time picturing at this point?
Isn’t it ironical? We accept change in so many things – nature, our jobs, our children, our neighbours but, when it comes to ourselves, it strikes us as odd or even out of place. Or like we’re broken.
I choose to celebrate this holiday season by remembering the magic of every sliding door in my life. By recognising the power that exists in us – us as one, that is – and celebrating that by connecting even when it is hard and painful.