As you may know, I am reading The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. I think this book is absolutely amazing and I think every parent or person wanting to be a parent can benefit from the perspective that it brings to the table. Honestly, I think even if you never want to be a parent, this book can translate to your other relationships just as well.
Our children are a mirror of the child in us, and if we are wise, we will use that mirror as a tool to “grow ourselves up” so that in turn we can make sure our children are growing up as well without the projections of our own feelings and unresolved childhood. Our children are people too!
Because our children start off so small and dependent on us, I think it can be challenging to realize that they are their own spirit with their own purpose and lessons in life, and because of this we can unknowingly hinder their true nature and spirit from really shining due to our lack of consciousness and the weight we put on our own ego.
I want to share one a section of The Conscious Parent, mainly because I feel that TRUST, in general, plays a huge role in our ability to truly express our own true essence, in turn our children’s ability to express theirs. If we want our children to really grow up, it starts with us. I think this section of the book can relate to children or any other relationship in your life whether you are a parent or not. If anything, you can see the type of projections your parents may have projected onto you and how you may be living those out in other areas of your life. Do you project a natural trust and confidence or distrust and anxiety of life?
“Because few of us really trust the wisdom of life, people tend to project their lack of trust onto their children. Consequently, our society believes that trust has to be earned.
I believe that not only do our children not need to earn our trust, but they need to know that we trust them implicitly, because we see them as fundamentally trustworthy. Just by their presence, our children have earned the right to be trusted. To ask them to earn our trust reflects an insecure, power-hungry attitude that’s charged with both fear and ego.
To have implicit trust in our children requires that, as parents, we display a basic reverence for and trust in life. The degree to which our children feel trusted by us reflects the trust or lack of trust we ourselves have. When we come from the mindset that all of life is wise, and therefore all its manifestations good, we see our children this way. We frame all mistakes as emerging out of a pure place. If this is so, where is there room not to trust our children? On the other hand, if we are anxious and doubt our ability to transform life’s struggles into spiritual gold, no matter how we assure our children that all will be fine, we unconsciously transmit the opposite message.
As parents, we communicate trust or distrust in the subtlest ways. The questions we ask our children, the lectures we give them, and the unsolicited advice we dish out all convey trust or distrust. For instance, when we repeatedly ask our children how they are doing, believing they must be going through something, or other, we unwittingly communicating our own anxiety and hence our mistrust of life. By constantly checking on our children, hovering over them, or needing to know everything about their world ,we communicate a sense of uncertainty which undermines their basic trust in themselves. The less we check in on them in an anxious manner, the more we communicate the message that we don’t need to check in with them all the time because we know they are fully capable of taking care of themselves and will ask for help when they need it.
When we make decisions for our children without giving them the chance to chart their own course, we communicate to them our own powerfulness and their helplessness., which fosters a distrust of themselves. If, instead, we solicit their ideas and show respect for these ideas, even if we can’t always incorporate them into our plans, we communicate a deep reverence for their ability to contribute to the discussion at hand. Our children sense when we have a true deep respect for their opinions and choices. It’s vital we recognize that, though they may only be little, they have a valid opinion that we respect and always take it into consideration. As our children see that their presence is both meaningful and important to us, they learn to trust their inner voice.
We promote trust when we encourage our children to speak up and be heard. They learn to trust themselves as we tell them ‘I admire the way you put your thoughts together,’ and assure them ‘I trust you to do the right thing’. Should they happen to make an unwise choice, we don’t allow this to cause us to indicate a lack of trust in them, but simply tell them in a matter of fact manner, ‘You made this decision and now you are learning from it.’ Lack of trust doesn’t enter the equation.
I assure my daughter, ‘You will always be okay, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, because this is the sort of person you are’. Above all, I communicate a trust in life’s ability to take care of us spiritually. Once we look at life as an incubator of consciousness, what is there not to trust?
When our children sense our respect for their ability to lead the way, this empowers them beyond measure. As they learn they are worthy of holding trust, this will come to mean the world to them. They will naturally rise to our trust in them.”
in what ways was trust or distrust projected onto you by your parents? Do you find yourself comfortable with life’s situations or do you find that you are anxious about things? How are you projecting that onto your children? In what ways can you be more trusting in your own life?
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