Like a storm in a tea cup, I am currently caught up in an internal tornado that those around me are perhaps oblivious of. The ghosts of the past have been raked up and, like flying cars and planks in a real-life cyclone, are flying dangerously about, threatening to knock me out in old karmic patterns.
A few days ago, I told my best friend P that I feel very guilty about my role in my kids’ lives — my choices are difficult for them but they must grin and bear it because of their love for me. I feel I have let them down in a way, I have been unable to give them an eventless childhood, a good old-fashioned upbringing with a loving set of parents. I have been unable to make them the protagonists of their own childhood. My choices have been so momentous for them that, despite my best intentions, I cannot help but being the key player in the course of their lives.
P said something that completely changed my perception of things: “A struggling vine makes the best grapes.” I went silent for a bit when she said this. I googled it — does the best wine come from stressed grapes? And the answer was yes. It is apparently an old trick in the winery business.
While I mulled over this natural phenomenon, I got this Goethe quote in my inbox the very same instant:
“One should not wish anyone disagreeable conditions of life; but for him who is involved in them by chance, they are touchstones of characters and of the most decisive value to man.”
Instantly, I had my answer. I must not grudge my children their messed-up childhood. In the larger scheme of things, all this is only enriching the beauty of their souls. Problems, challenges, situations come and go. For the eternal soul, however, these are necessary in a way that they allow it to express itself to its fullest potential, to bloom and flower in ways that may have otherwise remained dormant. I would know. The most intense spiritual growth has come in the time of the most intense grief and torment for me.
And so, as the storm continues to brew in the little tea cup of my heart, I remind myself of this personal truth yet again: From revolution will come evolution. I must be strong while allowing myself to change. Happy endings are about mindful journeys, after all.