“Never underestimate the joy, and never underestimate the suffering of the path of parenting.” (p. 174, The Buddha’s Wife)
Parents, caregivers, and nurturers know that the devoted responsibility and love for another being is a relationship that can be filled with such conflicting or contrasting emotions. To care for and raise a child for example is said to be one of the most difficult jobs and at the same time one of the most rewarding.
A friend shared this video link about becoming a first time parent, and at the end of watching it, you are ultimately left with the sense that parenting truly is a profound gift with all its complexities and mysteries. The highs and lows, the joys and despair, the bliss and pain, the fun and the worries…is there any relationship that doesn’t face all these expressions?
For Yasodhara in The Buddha’s Wife, she comes to realize the extraordinary gift the spiritual path of devotion is for her as a mother, daughter, friend, and wife. “Walking a compassionate wisdom path together. This is what makes the ordinary extraordinary” (page 49). This path of devotion honors and illuminates the complexity, beauty, and staying power with a particular person in everyday life; the path can open to a wiser and greater compassion and appreciation of our larger human connectedness.