March 22, 2016

Motherhood Parables: The Highchair Stare

So I was feeding my little 16 month old last night and trying to figure out what in the heck she wanted.

You know those times you hear unintelligible noises coming from the corner of the kitchen and you think, "what? I'm sorry...Are you trying to ask for more food?" (while I'm cleaning the dishes and vaguely aware of your existence) :P

Sometimes it can get kind of annoying to figure out those cues from baby. But other times is so cute and can be viewed as a powerful, bonding experience.

So this time (thank goodness it was a good day and my patience-levels hadn't reached "burnout" yet), I enjoyed the chance to just slow down and stare at her. And she stared back---though she was not staring at me, but at one of the two things in my hand.

I had picked up water in one hand and a banana in the other.
She briefly glanced at the water, and then at the banana--at which she continued to stare.
I knew she wanted the banana.

How did I know? Well, that's what she was intently focused on. So...I gave her the banana. And a smile crossed her face. Obviously satisfied with both the object she received, and the acknowledgement on my part of her request--the smile of satisfaction from knowing she was heard and understood.

--- feel heard and understood--valued. And to really feel the deep satisfaction of receiving something you truly want or need.

I'm not talking about getting a birthday present from someone that means nothing and that you probably send to the thrift store. I'm talking about a more lasting satisfaction of a deeper yearning and need. The need to feel you are expressing the depth of what your heart feels and aches for (whether or not you fully are aware of that yourself). The need to feel you are of worth and your life is amazing, despite the temporary messy house and chaos that happens daily.

Wow...I could go on and on, but I think this is where this parable stops for today. But, to summarize two points:

  • Paying attention to where our focus is (or isn't) is a great clue to what we truly need or want. We may quickly glance from one thing to the next, but it is where our constant focus keeps pulling us back to that is a clue to where our attention really lies (for better or worse). And if for worse, we can change and dig deeper to find a greater, deeper need and desire.
  • Receiving what we truly, righteously desire is so soul-satisfying that it's satisfaction has a tremendous power to change both giver and receiver immensely (even immediately). And that power's sustaining effect can help us better deal with temporary chaos and open the door to new perspectives on our situations that allow greater relationships and awareness for things that really matter.
And really it all boils back to the atonement and our Divine NAture. We are divine being of great potential that gets hidden or bombarded in this life. We have it. Some know it, but others don't. As we seek to be our truest self and understand that divine potential, God opens doors and shows us who we are and how we can best be of use to our fellowman to fulfill their deep needs. And the end result is that our deepest need too are filled and we shine bright and are infused with Joy that lasts beyond the daily "vales of sorrow" we encounter in this life.

-------------- Two great C.S. Lewis Quotes---------------

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” 

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Weight of Glory

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