Acceptance, Love, and Mystery in Parenting 


Acceptance, Love, and Mystery in Parenting 

“The beginning of Love is to let those who love be perfectly themselves,
and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them” – Thomas Merton

1min. 48 sec. read

-Bryan Post and David Durvoy

Unconditional Love, as beautiful as it might sound, brings with it lots of questions.

Like, how is it even practical?

How is it possible to love someone when they are mean, evil, corrupt, horrific, and do not deserve love?

I am happy to report that it is a mystery. Not mystery in the sense of it being unknown. and we have to accept it as dogma, doctrine or faith. It is much deeper than this.

Richard Rohr puts it this way. “Mystery is not something that is not understandable. Mystery is that which is endlessly understandable.”

We can find any reason why not to love someone.

That is the humanity we know; that is easy.

To touch that part of us that transcends our limitations, our understanding as we know, and provides us a window into a much bigger picture, requires something beyond “a reason to do something.”

You don’t need a reason to put a bandage on the finger of a bleeding child. Unconditional love is something like this, it is “what is needed” for us to remember who we are.

Yes, we are reasonable beings, though many of us fall way short, way too often.

The heart, however, is not rational or logical.

We have to take the challenge that if we move toward unconditional love, that it will somehow, someway prove itself worthy of our endeavor.

So let us start simple.

Acceptance is the beginning place that lies beneath the essential lifelong commitment a parent makes to a child.

Raising children with challenges such as ours, frequently leaves us longing that they were in some different emotional/behavioral place other than where they are.

The key to acceptance is not in my needing you to be different than who you are, but instead, accepting you as you are.

This is not a life sentence. It is simply a place to start at any and every moment. It is a safe container for the issues to be worked out, resolved, healed and allowing love to do its job.

This depth of acceptance leads to a newer and expanded definition of a relationship and builds a sense of trust based on experience, not on promises. When I recognize that you don’t need me to be different than who I am, you are naturally permitting me to be all that I can be. I can now live beyond your and my expectations. This is a genuinely worthy prize for a human – becoming more fully human.

No longer do I fear not being good enough, because you accept me, good or bad. No greater gift could we ask for, or give.

Those unwanted behaviors have the best chance of dissolving into the sea of life when we can accept the child in spite of their actions. I know it is hard at times. That is where the reward for us lies. Focus on the child, not the behaviors.

— Choose love