Being a parent can either be a distraction from the goal of becoming the shining, glorious beings we inherently are or it can fast forward you towards it. I learned this when I became a parent and lost my mind and my self-control a good few times. It all depends on what you do with it. The clay is there, what are you going to make from it?
Knowledge is power, said Foucault famously. The way I see it is this; everything in my life offers me insight into myself. It offers me knowledge. I have to admit right up front, that there have been times I really, really didn’t want the knowledge I was being offered about myself. Like those times I behaved in ways I’d rather just forget about and move on from. You know what I’m talking about I’m sure (at least I hope you do otherwise it’s just me who does that which would be just SO awful). My children would know what I’m talking about anyway. In fact they could probably list some of those times for you – “Mama remember when you shouted at me the other day? And the other time you shouted, and the other time… Oh yes and when you grabbed the toy out of my hand yesterday? And when you didn’t listen to me even though you said you would…”
The deepest secrets about yourself are most available in the times your child does something that instantly angers you and you just can’t anymore. They whine and cling to your leg, they don’t listen, they moan about what you are doing but don’t take responsibility for the fact that they did it first dammit!
You see what I mean? Moments in which I behave like a child in response to their childish behaviour – which could be ok except that they actually are children whereas I’m… well biologically I’m not.
I have to see those nasty bits of myself too if I want to be all holy and enlightened and remember who I am. Because shadow is always there alongside the light – that’s the design, yin and yang. If I can’t also look at my dark stuff, then I’m just faking it and there’s nothing inspirational about a fake is there? Not for my kids and not for the world. When I honestly take a good look at my un-saintly parts – unpleasant and painful as that may sometimes be – I have the chance to see where they come from. And when I can see that, I have the information I need to not only survive life, but thrive in it. Those parts are the guides to my wholeness and that’s what will make me the kind of parent and person I most want to be.
So maybe those parts are not so nasty and un-saintly after all? Shadow, after all, enhances light.
I’ll explain more about how this works in the next Monday post but what do you think so far?
Are you allowing yourself to look at both the dark and light parts of yourself?
And your partner’s?
And your children’s?
And let’s not forget your own parents’ dark and light sides…