What if your child has kindly agreed to come here to raise and teach YOU rather than you kindly agreeing to raise and teach him or her?
I’ve always felt that my children are my teachers but I was nudged into a deeper level of this – thanks to a sentence in Dr Tsabary’s book The Conscious Parent. It was this:
“…it’s my experience that the relationship between parent and child exists for the primary purpose of the parent’s transformation and only secondarily for the raising of the child.”
Well now, how’s that? According to her, the person benefitting more from the parenting experience is the parent! I find that both hilarious and fascinating.
It quite profoundly changed how I look at and engage with my children – especially the one who shows me the parts of myself I find less comfortable. We usually get at least one of those in the lucky packet.
Since that sentence jiggled me, I keep gazing at him in awe and wonder. I’m amazed at his kindness and generosity for offering to help me go where no Eilat has gone before – “The Shadow Lands!” (Cue freaky music).
What a brave, brave soul – to choose to start off his life breaking us in as parents. I mean he has been lashed and flung about on the tides of my learning to function with too little sleep, too little knowing what I’m doing, too little time for myself, too little self-control in the ‘bad’ moments, too little understanding that there is no such thing as ‘too little’…
It is quite a thing don’t you think?
If it really is more about my transformation than about him being ‘raised’ then it adds a sort of seriousness to my task of growing my Self. And a lot of … I don’t know, I want to write ‘funniness’. Because here I am thinking I know so much and that I must teach him stuff and all the while he’s just allowing me to practice living in my truest light. But I already know that. From the start he has – with the enthusiastic assistance of his brother of course – been showing me my misguided beliefs and pushing me to do things I don’t know how to do yet. Bless their cotton socks.
The main thing though is the stretch, don’t you find? Oh that inner stretching that he offers me. He can’t go to sleep – I have to stretch my heart way more than I’m used to in order to keep my compassion for him at the end of a long day. Doesn’t listen to me – I have to stretch my patience and self-worth WIDE to remember I am important no matter what. Hits his brother – I have to use all my self-control not to lash out at something that hurts me, to trust all is well and I am safe, no matter what.
I like who I am as a result of all this stretching.
The other day I was chatting to someone who has chosen not to have children. I totally understand her reasoning. It was touch and go for me for a long while. After our talk I was trying to imagine my life without children. It seemed a bit boring to be honest. This is NO statement on people who have no children. Not at all. I think I would have been happy without children too – very busy and involved in all sorts of projects that would have inspired my passion. No doubt I would have been challenged and stretched and I would have learned a lot.
BUT I prefer me like this.
My children keep me emotionally fit in a way that meets the criteria for the Iron Man and more. It’s non-stop training and as a result I feel fit in that way that real athletes feel (or so I imagine anyway).
So if they came here to train me and help me transform, then I’d like to say, “Thank you loves. You are doing a great job!”
Here’s to more happy stretching in future.
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