What comes first the theory or the experiences that create the theory? Having highlighted a theory through the observation of my thoughts this question has been lingering ever since.

During meditation I was watching my thoughts on becoming a parent. Thoughts arose related to sex and relationships, pregnancy, giving birth, having maternal instincts and raising a child successfully. Then followed all the justifications and rationalisations as to why all this was not for me- being single, sexual orientation, not having a maternal instinct, too selfish, not feeling up to the role and so on. My own childhood experiences arose and they too reinforced the theory of parents and parenting. The media and the type of stories I find myself attracted to all the more provided ammunition to the theory I had forged on parents and parenting. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I had selectively collected more and more experiences, ideas, images to validate the theory my mind had created. I started to see that my thoughts had always been doing this.

The thought system was automatically and constantly recording more and more of the same or similiar experiences, modifying some ideas to up date existing theories and monitoring the selection of likes and dislikes in order to keep the whole system operating smoothly.

Having spent time bonding with my nieces I can see that theory that my thoughts had conjured up was a figment of my imagination. Moment to moment I can change my mind about the ideas I have about parenting. That’s what thought does. But moment to moment when in the company of my nieces I am only interested in what their needs are. I respond to the situation in hand. If they are crying and need a hug I give them one but if they need a hug from their mum or dad I give them to their mum or dad. If they are hungry they are fed, tired put to bed and so on.

What do I know about parentng? Nothing. I only know that I will respond when the situation arises.