For the back story, please read “Peace Tools: Infinite Compassion” from June 2012. To summarize – one evening last spring, a familiar kid (about 7 or 8 years old) from the neighborhood impulsively hit me as I passed; I learned from his pals that he had acted-out due to misguided anger; I insisted on and received an apology; we talked and came to understanding. *
I see this group of neighborhood kids all of the time. Drawn to their energy and mischievousness, I used to approach them to say “Hey” and chat a bit; but since June, I’ve taken to quickly and kindly greeting them, enjoying their antics from afar and sending Metta. I figure, regardless of our past interactions, most kids want to be left alone by grownups; and so I give them their space.
Last night we were all out and about in the ‘hood – it was inevitable on a beautiful autumn evening. I kept my distance and sent loving energy their way. At one point, I was chatting with some street vendors and the crew passed by. My kid – the one who hit me last spring – veered away from the others, walked over, gave a little wave and said “Hi.”
My soul softened. I felt such love, hope and joy for this boy.
His greeting showed me that he is not harboring resentment about what happened in June. He knows that everything is OK between us. Some children never get the chance to experience the process of reconciliation after harm has been committed – by or against them. For example, in the midst of troubles at home, I grew up trying to navigate very complex thoughts and feelings without guidance, which led to unprocessed (aka “stuffed”) or misguided (aka “acted out”) emotions. In my case, unaddressed emotions lead to depression, addiction and destructive behaviors – toward me and others. **
So last night, when my little neighbor approached me with kindness, my heart swelled. Our efforts last spring – addressing the violation, listening to each other, taking responsibility and coming to understanding – truly healed the situation. We experienced reconciliation. Now, we have both moved on and can interact normally.
Ahhh… This is my warm and fuzzy story. I hope to bring you more and more and more.
Infinitely grateful for yoga and all that it offers. OM Shanti.
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* This is a separate incident from my mugging, which happened in June of 2011, involving a different pair of older neighborhood boys, and about which I have little closure. (For background, see The Yoga of Being Mugged from June 2011)
** Out of respect for my family, with whom I am experiencing great healing, I want to reinforce that I am not blaming anyone for my challenges. My upbringing was the result of two parents – whom I love deeply and who navigated their own troubled upbringings – doing their absolute best.