The following poem by author Kahlil Gibran has been a source of comfort for me day in and day out from the time my husband, Tim, and I became parents almost 35 years ago. Now that we are grandparents, this poem has not lost its comfort for me as even though time has passed and our roles in this lifetime have shifted ... this poem still reflects our relationship responsibilities as spirits TO other spirits and especially to those who are in our core Soul Family.
I would like to share this poem with other parents and grandparents in hope that you, too, may gain comfort knowing that our children come through us but not from us ... and that there comes a point where we must let them go to live their own lives and gain their own perspective as they experience life in the physical realm.
It is a most difficult task ... one of which most parents are familiar; to allow your child, no matter how old ... to make the life-altering 'mistakes' (meaning ... that it is YOU, the parent, from your own perspective, viewing it as a 'mistake') along his spiritual path during this current lifetime. Only the individual soul knows what is the right path.
When you allow any other spirit to make decisions for himself, it promotes spiritual growth in all parties involved ... whether it be between those who are in your Soul Group this lifetime or between those outside that 'family' circle. We are all ONE ... and we know that at a soul level all decisions are the correct ones and with each choice that we make and each consequence that we realize, it not only enhances the individual soul but adds to the spiritual evolvement of the collective consciousness. Each time we attempt to restrict another's choices ... it adds to the possibility that the 'opportunity' to choose once again upon this same subject will be close at hand.
That which we resist doth persist.
Believe me, dear reader, when I tell you that witnessing the process and then allowing one of my children to find his own spiritual (as we are all spirits) path is the single greatest challenge for me this lifetime and I bet that it is for you as well ... and now, here is that source of comfort that I promised to you:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.