“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.” -Marianne Williamson-
Being in a child’s life is indeed an immeasurable responsibility. As a mother I’ve definitely been inspired to rise up to the position, my ego stroked by such power. At other times I am weighed down, feeling insufficient when faced with the task especially at trying times…..yes those times when I lose my temper or say “because I say so!”. I’d like to offer an addendum to Marianne Williamson’s already wise words…
“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than to honour the opportunity to transform ourselves as we raise our children and grow together.”
As adults, we are responsible to provide for their safety and well being. For some that translates to authority over them…enter power struggles. Sometimes our responsibilities to our children create an unspoken indebtedness even though ironically we are the ones that asked them to be born, or are honoured with being part of their life. This authoritarian perspective, possibly connected to the glorification of self-sacrifice as an expression of love which we accept as a cultural norm, is a weight that sits upon their shoulders. They learn to make themselves “smaller” and more pleasant to acquire your approval as it is connected to their survival and their peace. Ultimately, draws them away from their authentic being, from their open, learning, human experience into fulfilling their role as “your” children.
For those who have intimate experience as parents we know the sweetest moments are those when we inadvertently realize that our child is actually the one growing us. How would it feel if we shift to honouring our relationship with them as opportunity for us to grow and become more actualized? We can explore the idea of owning up to the selfish reasons why we became parents, why we’ve invited ourselves into a child’s life. If we let go of the false facade of selflessness and sacrifice to our children, and we open ourselves up to being vulnerably human, complete with imperfections and limitless potential. We can drop the role playing…really we can! The task then shifts from being a perfect parent, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather displaying “model” behaviour to BEING authentic and present. It requires BEING courageous as we learn, we show and we invite our children that they too are worthy of such a human experience.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” -John Steinbeck-
“Now that you don’t have to be good, you can BE.”
In boyish charm’s dedication to children, it is also an opportunity to include reflections on how us bigs relate to the littles in our lives. Ultimately, we grow together as a village raising each other. As part of the calling to truly BE in our children’s lives we must also BE in our own life and allow them to BE in ours. This is no top-down diffusion of resources, values or beliefs, but a cyclical, collaborative, organic, limitless growth opportunity for everyone, and require us to truly show up.
In my offering of these thoughts to you, I also write them for myself. A call to practice imperfectly with humbled presence as authentic and bravely as I can. Letting go of what “good” looks like, so that I can BE.