Black and white

Strange shifts in perspective are occurring whereby the paradigm I’m used to is changing. A broad church of ideas and acceptance of differences is sliding towards narrower viewpoints and decreasing tolerance of diversity. Is it a consequence of wider unsettled times where established norms are shaken and people retreat into something more atavistic, identifying with ingroups as a form of self preservation? It is seen with the rise of identity politics giving a voice to white extremists, pseudo legitimizing these groups which are in fact out and out racist collectives rebranding. This narrow-mindedness is observed on a smaller familial scale with ever decreasing circles of us against them, black and white attitudes where if you are not for the group you are against it. As an antithesis it is necessary to be mindful, cultivating compassion, equanimity and understanding, not retreating into narrow self-interested groups, recognising we are stronger together and remembering ‘that which unites us is greater than that which divides us’.

Note to Friend

I’m sorry that you’re struggling with this at the moment. It is a constant struggle I find, oscillating between hope and despair, the children always being ever present in the mind but out of reach and always the sense of burning injustice. That sense of injustice I think encapsulates a lot about PAS for me, we’re are brought up with a belief that wrongs will be righted and those who perpetrate crimes will be punished. PAS is awful in that it isn’t recognised in law and people like you and I who act with dignity and respect for others who then can see in plain sight what is going on are left helpless and hopeless and waiting for that restorative justice, unable to be like those that are treating our children and us with that singular lack of dignity and respect. However I couldn’t contemplate being like the alienating parent as it would leave me less than who I am. Even from the start of my marriage breakdown, during that period when I could see the inevitable split but wouldn’t probably fully acknowledge it I swore I would maintain my dignity and self respect and not be dragged into a war of words and not to involve my children. Shame it wasn’t the same on both sides and my way of living then became a kind of catch 22, whereby paradoxically my good intent to protect and nurture my children only saw them drift further and further away until they were lost to me. Every good intention is twisted by the alienating parent and turned against you so it is a lose-lose outcome for the alienated parent. I cannot and do not regret the way I dealt with the situation as to act otherwise would, I think have only made me bitter and resentful and all those other negative connotations that can so easily develop when relationships breakdown. I do of course regret the fact that I don’t see my children but despite this I still choose to turn away from the negative and seek out the positive, to cultivate loving kindness, compassion, empathy and all those other wonderful human qualities associated with the light and not the dark. Sure there are moments of intense sadness but I feel I have grown from the experience and am not now crippled by it as I first was. I hope for the same for you and who knows when you or I get that knock on the door the child we love will see the positive and turn away from the lie that has been told to them.

New Beginnings

Hello Kee and Mogs, how did the summer holidays go, did you do anything exciting?  I remember how I used to take time off work to look after you and we used to go off for days and do different things, on the beach, walks, lakes, fishing, kite flying not usually too far but we enjoyed it anyhow.  Then there was the start of the new school year and getting you sorted for that.  New beginnings and so it is now as you both move on, I hope you enjoy your new ventures, my heart goes with you, x

I loved this passage from Osho

I really liked this passage from Osho on compassion, especially the part about love.  Love is unbound, unchained, unconditional given freely with no contract or expectation as a return, nothing to prop the ego, given even though nothing comes back and despite negativity.  Only then is it love and not as Kant says ‘to use others as a means’.

To all my children, know that I love you.

What is Compassion? – Osho