Something amazing has happened. I’ve had a grandchild. Maybe this isn’t so amazing in the big picture––there are now 8 billion people on the planet––but it is ground-shifting in my world. I have bonus grandchildren with my partner and love them all very much. This newest soul is a direct biological connection, coming through my ancestors’ bodies and my body and my son’s body. To me, this feels like an unexplainably deep movement of Life Force. It’s another loop back into the unconditional love of parenting.

While every child’s birth is an opportunity for more love in the world, unconditional love for my own grandchild has not translated into One Big Happy with all the other adults in my family. In addition to myself there is also an exhausted new mother, a high-energy mother-in-law, a grandfather waking up to his own parenting mistakes, and a new dad trying to balance everyone’s needs. Some toes have been stepped on.

With my own heart opening, I’ve been given an opportunity to look at all the emotions within it. Difficult feelings can have roots that are long and tangled. Am I really being rejected, or is that an old belief resurfacing? Is someone being controlling, or am I actually jealous?  I’ve built up some defenses against getting hurt over my lifetime. With loving attention to my own feelings those fences are beginning to dissolve. My heart is softening and expanding. It’s warm and gooey.

When I find myself getting pulled toward hurt feelings, I give myself a spiritual pep talk:
I remind myself that reducing my expectations opens the path to Joy. I remind myself that every day is a new day, a fresh chance to start over––there is no need to carry along yesterday’s baggage. I remind myself that hurt feelings are an ego response and I move myself into spiritual expansion. I remind myself of my purpose: to practice gratitude and loving-kindness. Be positive. Celebrate!