Family Dynamics

When I look back over my own reproductive history, I remember the great, almost uncontrollable yearning to bring forth life. I can truly feel what Kahlil Gibran said in his essay on children: Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughter’s of life’s longing for itself. Whenever the desire to bring forth life felt like it belonged to me, life seemed to thwart its expression.

My daughter, Theresa, was born when I was 21. I can still feel the joy for this life inside of me, and the hope and promise that this new being brought with her life. Although I was already married, when she first lay upon my chest and our upcoming lives became united, I felt for the very first time what it felt like to truly be in love, unconditionally. I was young; I was not equipped for the stability that family life required. I divorced, and went my own way, taking this fragile life along for my needs. Many turbulent years ensued, and when I was provided the opportunity to settle down into family life again, I felt the same pull for life, but now with an added weight: this time I would do it right. I was older and wiser. And my beautiful daughter, Theresa, carried the weight of my past, which was becoming her burden as well as mine.

I thought that having other children could somehow assuage the guilt of not fitting the role of a good mother. That was my infertility; trying to alleviate my pain with a new family. Any time my need became the burden I placed on another, life seemed to shut off.

Looking back, I can see how most of my relationships have based on need: the necessity to love, to be loved, to have, and to hold. When a need is fulfilled by another; especially a child, it binds us into suffering and misery. The fulfillment of a desire will never set us free. Rising above the need sets us free.

My son Lars, was the alleviation of my infertility, but it wasn’t through his coming, it was through seeing that his expression could not be responsible for the alleviation of my suffering. My needs became my children’s burden, even before they came.

Life is showing me a higher truth today: that it is nobody else’s responsibility to meet my needs for love, security, or anything else. It is my duty to get those needs met myself.

When my need to bring forth a child was to make my life more full and complete, it became their burden. When my need to be a part of a family was to make me feel loved and secure, it bound us all to the lowest expression of need – the fear of its loss.

When the unbounded expression of Life itself operates by its rules, the laws of the universe are at its command. Can you relinquish the need for life to abide by your desires? Can you let the laws of spirit govern you? Can you surrender to the inevitability of life’s plan for you that include the gift of the desires that you carry now? Can you see the possibility that the spirit of existence placed this desire in your heart that you be at its command, rather than the other way around?

How could I possibly be so arrogant to think that I knew how life was supposed to express itself? When I move out of its way, its gifts are unfathomable.