Every night, before bed, I bless Jessie:
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful.
May you be loved.
May you be safe and protected and free from fear.
May you find joy in your own true nature.
You are God’s beloved.
Every night. No matter what. Even if I have yelled at her. Even if she has yelled at me. Even if we are not speaking to each other. Even if it is 2 in the morning and we are both too tired to get undressed and she has just fallen into bed without brushing her teeth.
Every night. No matter what.
This began during a difficult time in my life, just after a difficult time in Jessie’s. I was taking a mindfulness course and was introduced to a variation of this lovingkindness meditation. I fell in love with the word lovingkindness and was delighted to also find it in the Psalms. I thought, what better way to end the day with your child—no matter your faults and falling downs, no matter your age or theirs.
And so, we began the night-time blessing ritual that, when started, I promised her I would do no matter what. I was challenged, and graced, by this promise many times. Sometimes both challenge and grace arising out of the same, the very same, moment.
Such as the time Dan and I still laugh about when Jessie was so angry at me (for some reason that I cannot, now, recall) that she slammed countless doors downstairs, stomped loudly up the stairs, yelling “YOU CAN'T MAKE ME . . . YOU'RE NOT NICE . . . IT'S NOT FAIR” at the top of her lungs before slamming her bedroom door and finishing with “ I HATE YOU!!!! . . ." [pause, wait for it, in a much milder plaintive voice] "Will you bless me?”
“Yes Jessie,” I was able to answer, because of my promise. And in my blessing show her that she was valued, loved, and indeed, blessed in her anger and her adolescence.
May we all go to bed at night knowing we are beloved.
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