Apr 29, 2022
The Cornerstone of Accepting our Children, Fully, is our Own, Radical Self Acceptance. From this foundation, powerful connection with our children will naturally follow. I’m talking about accepting our children, deeply. About getting beneath behaviours and temperaments and attuning to them at a soul-level.
As our children come through us, it is understandable that we assume ownership. As we do so, we become less accepting of their uniqueness and more set on moulding and shaping them and, unwittingly, we begin to objectify them and deprive them of their individuality. The necessary truth is far removed from this universally accepted idea of hierarchy and ownership. The truth of a new life, being of its own, unique essence and with its own, separate identity. The child, as its own sovereign being.
What commonly happens is that we lay down our constraints and expectations as we seek to control our property. As a result we become enmeshed with our children and lose any sense of collaboration. Instead of ‘co-traveller’ we convert to ‘controller’. So we must detach ourselves in order to gain connection. This may sound like a contradiction in terms. We are talking here though of a divine, intangible transformation. A profound, metaphysical shift in our understanding that they belong ‘with’ us but not ‘to’ us. This, to allow them their own journey and unfolding, as was ever intended.
The sense of responsibility that we have inherited, around knowing ‘what is best’ for our child, has been learned and passed down through generations. Truthfully, we are just feeling our way, ever-fearful, never wanting to get it wrong, to see our child suffer. We make it up as we go along! If we were to follow their lead, then they would discover themselves and unfold authentically in each moment. We would be present to care-take, to contain. To witness nature doing what it does so perfectly, everywhere else.
Relinquishing control isn’t easy. It requires deep understanding and acceptance. It asks that we attune to our own, innate knowing. Confidence lies here! Then, to look to our children and trust that they too know the way. When we feel trusted by another, our own self-worth sky-rockets. We trust ourselves and we stride forward, confidently. We flourish! This is how our children will feel. It’s tough to look at ourselves and all of the moments we have had, obliviously disempowering and diminishing our children’s light. We must take stock though! Only by owning our unconscious controlling and lack of acceptance of their sovereignty, can we begin to honour them.
So, how about when they defy us? When they oppose and provoke us? When we are used to controlling and cajoling them into resignation or appeasement? Well… to truly honour our children then, from here-on we begin to listen. Even as it flies in the face of all that we learned in childhood ourselves, the only sane answer is that we allow them to speak up against us. To question us, challenge us. To negotiate. Our children will grow in strength and tenacity. They will begin to trust their own selves.
To remain enmeshed with our children is to invite inclination towards toxic dependency within their later, adult relationships. Looking to get their inner needs met, by seeking acceptance from another, that they never learned to give to themselves. Their dependency on us, as children, will lead them to forever look elsewhere, for another to make them feel complete.
To step away from our children is not easy. Some might even deem it uncaring. We remain so attached because to set ourselves apart is unnerving. It can feel lonely and intimidating to detach. We love our children. We don’t want them to hurt. We are frightened that by letting go we are opening up a whole world of pain for them.
But to boldly cross the divide and surrender… To release our children and ourselves from our constant supervision and governance, is to enter a space of mutual trust and empowerment. From here, our children will learn naturally about unconditional love, free from anxiety. They will sense our belief in them and grow through their challenges, within that container, to learn that they don’t need anybody else to prop them up. That they are themselves hardy and resilient.
So I wonder, how does it feel to consider that your child does not belong to you? That you need not control, or expect, or conform? I for one, find it profoundly liberating!