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4 - Egolessness (patience)

One of the Buddha's three marks of existence, egolessness, represents the essence of our primordial being prior to and independent of ego. Ego here represents our self-image – how we and the world tend to see us, tied to our accomplishments, failures, jobs and social and cultural roles. We have a self, a true self, that has been with us through our life, which is independent of those things – independent of our thoughts, emotions, judgments and dreams. This True Self is accessible to us and we can develop a consciousness that is not only aware of this self, but also operates from it.
Our role as parent or adult is just that – a role that we step into in order to fulfill a specific function in society and in our relationships. These functions and roles are not without value. Indeed, they serve an important purpose in our effort to organize our world in a way that makes sense, based on our perspective. Through developing an awareness of our egolessness, and taking on our parenting role with a sense of both distance and engaged conviction, like a master actor, we can facilitate a more objective perspective and stop tying our identity and self-image to either the success of our children or their expressions and behaviors. We learn not to take anything personally. We are no longer tied to the outcome of any situation. Only when we cease being attached to outcome will we be able to connect with our children in the moment. They are always expressing unmet needs, and the more offensive their words and actions, the more strongly they are expressing those needs.  The less their expressions seem like personal attacks against us, the more clearly we will hear them, and the more possible it is for us to respond to them in a helpful way.

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