The entry entitled Six on Annie's Sensible Living blog brought up regrets for me. When I see how Annie, Krista of the This Inspired Life blog, and some other parents of young children employ the principles of nonviolent communication, my heart aches.
When my kids were young, I did the best I could with the information, resources and personal capacity I had at the time. But, if I had known then what I know now, I would have done many things differently. Yet I don't have a rewind button that allows me to go back and start again. So my whole past -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- remains my past.
What I am focusing on now is cultivating compassion for myself. I believe that, if I am kind to myself, it will increase my capacity for kindness towards others. I have a tendency to beat up on myself. I am inclined to judge my past actions on the basis of facts and support systems that are available to me now but to which I did not have access then. When I notice myself doing that, I make a conscious effort to return to the present moment, because that's all I have to work with.
With that said, I look forward to interacting with children at Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community. The prospect of living in an intergenerational community was one of the features that attracted me to cohousing. It will provide me with the joy of being in close proximity to little people who are full of life and energy. I experienced that exhilaration when I spent a few days at Creekside Commons in Courtenay, BC.
Not only will it be fun for me, but it also will provide a supportive environment for the parents of those young children. I will be one of the people who will form a surrogate extended family for them. The younger families in our community will have relationships with middle aged and older people who, although they are imperfect, nevertheless aspire to nonviolent communication.
Moving into cohousing will give me an opportunity to interact with children in new ways. I may not have a rewind button, but I do have the capacity to change, to chew through the cocoon that protected and yet imprisoned me when I was a caterpillar and emerge as a butterfly with greater range and freedom.
Happy sixth birthday to Lily, and happy metamorphosis day to Judy.