The Fountain of Your Soul
Recently, I was giving a message to one of my clients, who was feeling a bit unappreciated by some of the younger members of the family. She lamented that when there were family gatherings, she was always called upon to be the shoulder upon which her children cried, the sounding board for grievances, the cheerleader for accomplishments, and the giver of endless gifts, encouragements, and accolades, however, she noticed that those very same family members came up lacking when it came to asking her how her day had been, checking up on her when she was under the weather, or sometimes remembering significant events, such as birthdays or anniversaries.
I was able to tune in to her mother, who she confirmed she had sensed around her recently.
Her mother was a gentle soul, loving and kind, but she told me she had not always been this way. She said that she could have an opinion or two, and liked to share her perspectives on what her daughter, my client, could do to improve her life or do things differently. However, she said, as she got older, she realized that this was not serving her. She realized that her opinions were often unreceived and unappreciated. At some point, she realized that her role had changed. My client agreed that their relationship had improved as she aged, as she lightened up a bit from having strong opinions about how everyone should live their lives.
My client's mother shared an analogy which I felt bared repeating here. She said that when we are young, we drink from the fountains of our family and close friends. Our souls are nourished from the wisdom and insight of those who are older and hopefully wiser, or as my daughter likes to say, "the adultier adult".
When we ourselves become the "adultier adult" we are the fountain, but we are not allowed to drink from the fountains of our children. At this point we need to access our own soul for our own fountain. We need to learn to draw upon the strength and wisdom from within ourselves, and from the fountain of our ancestors or Benevolent Helpers. There may even be another older fountain nearby from whom we may occassionly drink, but, really, at this point, we graduate from needing a fountain to being a fountain.
Love is total acceptance. It is allowing the younger ones to freely drink from the fountain of your wisdom, your strength, your soul, knowing that they may or may not ever return the favor. Hopefully, if you have provided enough nectar from the fountain of your wisdom, one day they will become fountains for others.
We know we have graduated to what used to be called "elders" when we no longer have the need to be nourished from someone else's fountain. When we are okay to give and give with no need for that giving to be reciprocated.
However, we all know, that sometimes our fountains get low, or even run dry. How are we to replenish our fountains?
Take a break!
Go for a walk. As my mom suggested in my last blog, eat some chocolate and drink some wine. Meditate. Pray. Sleep. Slow down with your busi-ness!
When you find you can drink from your own fountain and still have enough to give others, then you know you have become an "elder."
As we know, just being older does not make you an elder! We all know some older people who are more needy than the young ones!
Just for today, take some time to do inventory. Are you drinking from the fountain of your own soul? Is there enough left over to give to others? Are you feeling a little neglected because those to whom you give so much seem to not return the favor? Maybe it's time to fill up your own fountain. Be the "adultier adult".
(note to daughter: I will always be YOUR "adultier adult"... no worries there!)