I started to say that whenever we have a day where I feel like I’ve given my absolute best, I’ve poured everything I have into this mothering gig, and really done a bang up job, that’s when my kids act out and get crazy and I end up becoming unravelled by bedtime… I started to say that, and then this story popped into my head.

The story of a guy looking for enlightenment, and climbing up a huge hill to meet with a guru, and telling the guru all the things he was trying to do to get enlightenment, and the guru started pouring a cup of tea, and continued pouring as the man kept talking. He kept pouring until it overflowed and tea was everywhere. Finally the guy looks at the guru like he’s crazy. What the heck? Look at this mess. The guru says, “You must empty the cup to fill it. The cup is too full.”

And I realize that my boys are my best possibility in life to ever learn serenity. Because as soon as I think I have any amount of cool, they go knocking over the teacups to give me something more to learn, to allow me to fill up again on what I need in that moment.

They are in constant motion, as I need to be to keep up with them. And this is not just a teacup we are trying to fill, this is our hearts and minds and souls. This family plan gives us a chance to learn all there is to know about love and understanding. So every time I think I’m doing so much for them and they should be grateful, yet they’re acting out; I need to stop and think of all they are doing for me, and I should be grateful, and why do I want to act out? And maybe not so many shoulds. Maybe more grace. Maybe actually go pour a spot of tea and take some breaths.

photo of some teacups from my cupboard

I didn’t quote anything from The Dude and The Zen Master – but I was reading it this morning when these thoughts occurred to me.

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