Compassion and convictions; toddlers learning new things; food and communication

Last night’s thought: “Life is a dance in relationship between the comfort and clarity of adherence to one’s convictions, and the spiritual challenge in one’s surrender to compassion.”

Convictions and compassion are necessary partners. If you focus on convictions absent the lens of your heart, you can fall into the trap of becoming rigid to the point that being right is more important than being human. If you allow your compassion to slide into sympathy that then becomes an over-identification with someone else, you can lose your perspective and connection with boundaries and principles, and then you’re not helpful to yourself or to anyone else.

—–

This afternoon, Emily started running back and forth between the living room and dining room. She began to happily yell, “Go, go, go!” as she did so, in enthusiastic self-exhortation. That was infectious, so Joanna joined her for a while. Joanna is clearly feeling better. She’s still a bit croaky and wheezy, and still coughs, but she has her energy and smiles back.

Joanna has started to add the “k” on the end of the word, “book”. She’s also expanding her word repertoire. I can’t think of examples right now, but she’s naming more things when we read books, and I just notice her verbalizing more.

This afternoon Emily did something new, too: she got the play orange hard hat out of the dress-up bins, carefully placed it on the floor, stepped up onto it, and then jumped off. She’s been able to jump up with both feet for a couple of weeks now, but this was the first time I’d seen her jump off of something. She then followed that up by stepping/jumping/falling down onto me from the back of the couch. I’m glad she’s not yet 30 pounds.

—–

Food. We are learning. Slowly. I had the idea of having proteins around that Hazel likes so that if she doesn’t like the entrees we cook in any given week there are other options, either in the pantry, the fridge, or the freezer. So this week we’re going to cook an extra batch of the turkey pesto meatballs she loves and freeze them. We’ll get some pesto tilapia and freeze that too. We’ll get cans of tuna and salmon.

Of course, in the conversation I had with Hazel about it, I became irritated that she didn’t perceive or appreciate how we were working to meet her halfway, and instead greeted my suggestions with words like, “yucky”. And then I got started down the guilt-tripping path before I was able to pull back.

I am learning these ways of communication slowly, partly because I have internal resistance to making the changes I know are necessary, because my inner child just wants my kids to do what I say, dammit.

And this is where I need to be aware of adding compassion to my convictions, and continue to forgive myself for messing up. One step at a time…

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