Being human and ordinary, we will often fail
to love the whole, the dark, and the difficult parts.
We will always try to avoid something.
We will tremble. We will be blind.
We will be uncertain. We will continue to hurt
one another and miss the essential.
We will always need mercy and compassion.
— Gunilla Norris
I adore this quote. As a mother, I have had my fair dose of what is coined "mother guilt" - and indeed I could extend this to many other relationships and roles in my life also. People, and especially women, are very good at setting extraordinary expectations and feeling "less-than" when we fail to meet them.
Sometimes as parents we can easily lay this on our children also. I often wonder whether I am expecting too much of my 3 year old son - and continue to ask "is this a reasonable expectation?" for his age and stage and developmental capacity. Sometimes I find I tremble and avoid his most deepest and dark parts. It is instinctual for me that I want to turn and run in the face of such intensity - and yet, quotes such as this one remind me to be gentle - both on my son and on myself. Gentle on him, because I don't want to "miss the essential" in him. Because I don't want to avoid him when he needs embracing arms and I don't want to tremble when he needs security and strength.
And gentle on myself - well, because I too, even (and especially) in the mother role, am human. And my children will know me as human - one who has fears and insecurities and who ultimately, in her complete love and devotion to them, is one who also needs mercy and compassion.