Psychiatrist and Buddhist teacher Rachel Naomi Remen tells the story of when she was a little girl her grandfather gave her a clear glass filled with soil. He told her there was a seed inside and that if she kept the soil moist and exposed to sunshine, she would find out what kind of seed it was. She begged him to tell her that he just kept repeating the instructions.
After several weeks, a tiny little shoot poked up above the soil and she tried again to ask her grandfather, but to no avail. He told her that when it was all grown up she would know, but not before that.
One of the chapters in my forthcoming book, The Wisdom We’re Born With: Restoring Our Faith in Ourselves, is called “Parenting: Between fear and faith.” Faith is what we experience when we let go and trust something we can see and might not understand. Perhaps faith in God is an example. My favorite example is when we learn to float. It’s about letting go of your body and having faith that the water will hold you. We all have anxiety about our children, that’s how we protect them and anticipate problems. But faith is what happens when we trust that there is a quality of wisdom inside of each of us.
So why do I say this? Look even beyond the teachings of most religions. Just look at infants and toddlers and see how delighted they are each moment. Look at their ability to experience awe, love and trust. We are hardwired to love and seek love where there is no love. Babies get that. Not so much grown ups!
In my coming posts and in my book there is much more to say about what opens us to the wisdom we are born with. And what enables us to let go and experience parenting as caring for a seed never knowing what it will become until it gets there.