I have been thinking about children a lot lately and the role of being a ‘parent’. From what I understand God is our real parent and I am but a ‘surrogate’, my role really being only to disclose what I have learnt about Love and Truth and God, or maybe it is even less than that. Maybe if I just convey to the little souls ‘How to...,’ ‘How to connect to God...’ then they will discover the rest. This is obviously quite difficult if I have not learnt to do this myself and if it is not in my heart and I am merely holding it in my head. Also there is a problem if I do not feel this myself (which to be honest personally I do not - yet).
Often I feel that I am the ‘god’ in our house and that children should do what I say, when I say, how I say, immediately and without questioning me. This is pretty unreasonable behaviour when I reflect upon it and something I feel I would rebel about or seriously question if it was happening to me, so why do I expect it from the little ones in my care? Why are they any different to me? Why do boss them round, yell at them and often treat children ‘less than’? A good question.
I feel there are a lot of illogical, untrue beliefs around children, both now and historically children have been abused, violently treated, and very badly harmed*. To be honest I feel children often still are being treated in this way. Some of the behaviours I have observed in myself and other parents would not be accepted if they were done to adults or if a ‘stranger‘ did them, but due to the fact that the ‘parent‘ did it is deemed okay.
I feel that there is a problem with this.
I also feel that the only way it is going to be any different is if we begin to take personal responsibility for our actions, be VERY truthful with ourselves about how we actually feel, what we believe and what we think we are allowed to do with a ‘parent’ title. I also feel that it is going to be absolutely essential to choose Love, and by love I mean love God’s way.
I feel we need to choose to love and to give (God's way) and to allow the pain that is within us to be expressed without projecting it on others, including our children. We also need to stop making others liable for our own unhealed emotions and to actually own them ourselves, trace them to their source /cause and take personal responsibility for what we have chosen to do in response to what was done to us and what happened to us. We need to choose Love and Peace over violence (choose love over fear and anger, and choose to stand up to violent persons lovingly). Though I do not practice this wholeheartedly -yet- I believe it is possible and I believe that it has the possibility to change the entire world.
We are the only ones that can allow our own personal pain out and we are the only ones that can be sorry and repent the harm and pain that we have put into and caused others.
Really unless we are willing to forgive those that have hurt us and to truly be sorry towards those we have hurt, the cycles are going to continue. I do not claim to be an expert at this or even to have engaged this process fully yet.
I am experiencing first hand how the cycle continues though, and no matter how hard I ‘try’ to be different or just act differently to what I experienced and what happened to me as a child, I notice I am re-creating it due to the fact that ‘trying’ doesn’t make a difference. The feelings, beliefs, emotions that are in me dictate the outcome positive and negative. The cause creates the effect and if I do not release the cause the effects are going to be the same. And I am noticing this is true in my life at this time!
I feel when I was growing up there was a certain exceptions and a ‘code of behaviour’ that I was expected to conform to. This was set up by my surrogate parents who felt they ‘knew best’. If I did not follow the ‘rules’ there were various ‘negative’ feeling consequences, often punishments. I am also guilty of setting up a similar paradigm with the children in our care of which I am not proud and am endeavoring to change. Though I can see a pattern which seems intergenerational to me, I do not feel it is ‘right’. In fact I can see how flawed and unkind it is, I personally feel how damaging it was. I feel it can be different and it can be changed in a positive direction and in a couple of generations if we truly desired it. I feel there is a different way to be, a different way to ‘parent’. Just because ‘that has been the way it has always been’, does not mean that is has to be the the way it is or will be! I believe that it can change if we have the courage to look at ourselves as ‘parents’ and what is really going on within ourselves and between us, our partners and the children in our care.
From what I have observed children FEEL, rather than grasp intellectual concepts and thoughts (especially when small). The idea of ‘do what I say, not what I do’ does not work. Children are feeling beings not thinking beings**(when they are very small). As they grow older and are conditioned by their environment often they learn to be otherwise and for myself I became very intellectual to avoid the painful feelings that were inside of me. Unfortunately this has also stunted the joyous feelings too.
What I realise also though is that children are a gift. If I am willing to be humble, open and learn I can discover a huge amount about myself and the unloving emotions that are within me. They expose those rapidly and with precision - if you want to know.
I look forward to getting to a place of just loving the little souls in our care for the sole reason that they are a gift and totally beautiful beings! Not because I want things from them, emotionally, physically, addictivly etc.
There is so much to love about children and learn from them. I love their excitement, watching them discover and learn stuff, they are naturals at that! I am realising how much I can learn from them if I can put my 'I'm an adult and supposed to know more than you' belief aside. Really it is being humble to being taught by them rather than the other way round. I would like to be as open, forgiving, accepting, loving, humble as they are again! I feel I've really grown down not up, smile.
I often feel I have more to learn from the Children in our care than I have to ‘teach’ them. If I was truly humble and owned my unhealed emotions rather than projecting them all upon the children, I feel it would be a much more enjoyable process for both them and myself.
The kids love going on adventures, they are pretty keen explorers and discoverers and are constantly finding 'new' species (new to them and often to me, smile). Quite amazing when you think about the process of our being, everything happens a first time, like discovering actually never ends, there is always something we do not know, we have not seen, we do not understand.... To actually embrace that wholeheartedly, that would be a place I would like to be! To be childlike with the children in our care! What a gift, what an honor, what an adventure if I choose to truly embrace that!!!
* Robin Grille’s book Parenting for a Peaceful World gives some enlightening information about ‘the history of’ childhood.
** I am beginning to feel we all actually are feeling beings if were more in touch with how God intended us to be. I have heard that God made us to be totally feeling beings and experience everything through feeling. I feel for myself I have learnt to deny my feelings, to justify, intellectualize, minimise and numb out from what I really feel in order to ‘fit in’ and be ‘accepted’. Often people encourage others to feel ‘but only so much’ and ‘only for so long’ and ‘only certain emotions that don’t make me feel uncomfortable.’ In my experience there are a lot of ‘rules’ and beliefs around feelings sometimes those differ depending on the environment that you grew up in.