A few years ago, when I was having a particularly tough time with my son, I wanted to address my worry about his issues. To work on healing the worry. At the time, his mental health was really beginning to deteriorate, and as a parent, it tore me up every time my kid melted down with anxiety and couldn’t function. The wait list to get in to see an adolescent psychiatrist was a year long, and if I couldn’t help him yet, I knew a way to help me.
Like the flight attendants tell you during their safety brief, if the oxygen masks drop during an emergency, put your mask on before helping others. You’re no good if you’re passed out or dead. (I added that last part).
During the hypnotherapy healing session, I was guided to bring in the soul who is my son. I saw him as a bright light, like a starburst, and was overwhelmed as the feeling of love washed over and through me. So amazing! The higher wisdom came to me when I was guided to ask about our mission together, why we were brought together this lifetime.
My son’s soul told me, “I’m here to teach you about being spirit. You’re here to teach me about being human.”
When the message first came through, I could see all the little breadcrumbs I’d followed that led me to having a spiritual awakening in the first place. The searching and seeking, not for spirituality, but for things to help my son. This boy who had so many struggles and challenges. Concurrently finding things that helped me be a better mother; things that made me less stressed, worried, and less fried. Until one day, during the course of a conversation with a beautifully intuitive woman, something inside me woke up and began to roar. I suddenly knew without a shadow of a doubt that life exists beyond the physical world.
Receiving the message, it was obvious that as my son’s parent, my number one job, other than loving him, is to help him grow up with skills necessary to make it in the world. To grow up to be independent and a contributing member of society.
However, I recently realized the universality of this personal message. I can see it apply to every parent/child relationship out there.
When our children first come into the world, their ability to survive on their own is zero. It’s through our relationship with them that they make it in the world. That they find their bearings and walk their way to becoming an adult.
As much as not everyone who has children will experience a spiritual awakening, children often remind us to become childlike again; bringing us closer to our spirit.
One of the joys of being a parent is seeing the world through a child’s eyes of wonder. Being delighted in the most simple things. Having more fun with the box than with the toy in it.
Kids naturally live in the moment. They’re not overly concerned with the past or the future. They just do their thing.
Children bring us into the present moment.
Young children remind us to be unapologetically us. To do what we want to do, without being concerned if we’re doing it right or if someone else approves of it.
You do you. Be your authentic self.
Being a parent, especially the parent of a child with special needs, I had to stop looking at my child with the expectations I had – because so often what I was doing wasn’t working. I had to shift my focus, learning to look at what was behind his behavior instead of merely demanding compliance. To learn to look at the world a different way. To understand that my child, the one who had meltdowns every day because of having Sensory Processing Disorder, the one who didn’t tie his shoes until he was eleven because of dysgraphia, and the one for whom things like language arts and math don’t easily compute because of dyslexia, is doing the best he can. He has to work five times harder to accomplish some of the same things most people pick up easily. And some things will never be easy.
So often we expect things of our children that they’re simply not able to do. They’re too tired or too hungry, their brain is cooked, or they just don’t get it. They may not have the skills yet. And sometimes they forget things easily and need reminders.
We’re all doing the very best we can in any given moment in time.
Ever raise a toddler or a teenager? Those years make us parents tear our hair out like no other because it’s when our kids are taking lightyear jumps into independence. They push back and want to do what they want to do, not what we want them to do. And you can’t tell them how to do something because they know it all. We parents walk the tightrope between wanting to strangle our kids and standing back in amazement, wondering who is that child, and where did mine go? It’s the push-me pull-you of when to exercise control and when to let them fly, crash and burn, and fly again.
One of the greatest lessons kids teach us is about surrender. That we each have our own unique path in life to walk, and ultimately no one can walk our path for us.
Many years ago, I learned in a parenting class that when your little one is not doing what you want and nothing (no amount of bribery or punishment) is getting you what you want, when you’re so at odds that you’re about to go psycho on your kid, give them a random hug. It’s magic.
Sure, you can push and push until you’re blue in the face, you’re beyond exhausted. You can threaten the kid, take away all sense of security, shame and embarrass them, and you might ultimately get them to make their bed or take out the trash. Or not. When something isn’t working, take a different tack. Instead of beating your way upwind, change course, let the sails out, and go with the wind for a while.
Love and connection melts resistance. Every day, in every way.