A Suffering Willingly Born
There probably isn’t a parent anywhere who can insist that loving his or her children brings only happiness. It is rather that the suffering that arises as a consequence of parental love is considered to be redeemed by the joys of parenthood.
Whenever their children suffer, be it physically from an illness or emotionally from a disappointment or not being able to get what they want, loving parents often suffer even more than the children. Parents can endure their own suffering but find their children’s suffering almost unbearable.
In child-rearing, most parents are willing to sacrifice and endure years of exhausting physical and emotional hardship so that their children may be successful, capable, and happy.
Love for our parents and for our children is a natural attachment that is shadowed by suffering. It is a suffering that is for the most part willingly borne, but nevertheless we should be interested in learning whether there is any aspect of that suffering that we might relinquish without affecting our ability to be a good son or daughter or a good parent.
This reflection by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the booklet, On Love, (pdf) pp.9-10.