“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
I have discovered something that really changed me as a parent.
It turns out that what you see in your child is also what is inside of you.
Maybe it is something you have buried deep, or perhaps it’s right there on the surface, but either way, if you see it in your child, it is because it is part of who you too.
When I first heard this idea, it took me a little time to realise the truth for what it was. I thought ‘Oh no, don’t you go blaming me for my child’s potty mouth, or low self-worth.
I’m always telling my children not to use bad language, and to believe in themselves, so it can’t possibly be my fault when they display these behaviours. Well I was right it wasn’t my fault, and that’s something as parents we need to stop doing. No more blaming ourselves for our children’s behaviours. But it is something we need to realise in order to make a change within our children, we need to make a change within ourselves first.
If I had been handed a magical guidebook for how to raise my children when they were born, it would have told me this very critical piece of information.
Life is a mirror.
Our children mirror back to us what we are. So before we go diving into changing our child’s behaviour we may as well just make ourselves a cup of tea, and sit down on the couch for a while and look within ourselves.
Remember we are not blaming ourselves, we are all a little flawed, no one’s perfect, and we are here on this earth to learn, and to extend ourselves.
Our children actually help us through this process and help bring to light those things we thought we had buried for good years ago.
After I heard this, I began to see it every day in my family, in both good ways and in ways that challenged me to the core.
Even the things that I thought I had ‘gotten over,’ or covered over so very deeply that they were now in a place I can only describe as ‘no man’s land’ were being waved in front of me on a daily basis. I guess I had been a little blind, as I had been on a journey to change my children, and change their behaviours to meet my expectations.
It really was getting me nowhere fast and was using my energy, and patience up faster than I could muster it.
I soon realized I needed to work on myself.
So I took a break from being a reactive parent to simply observing what I was seeing and hearing.
This is what I saw…
The same loving heart that I witnessed in my children was the loving heart I have. The times when I saw my daughter pick up an insect and put it on the grass so it wouldn’t get stepped on, was the empathy and compassion for the world that was in me as well. When I was sad and full of self-doubt, and my son patted me on the back and said ‘Mum, you are amazing, never doubt yourself, everything going to be O.K.” was the same love and understanding that was in me. When my daughter cried, “No one loves me, I’m all alone”. I knew that feeling too.
And when my son yelled, “Everyone is against me, I can’t do anything right, life isn’t fair!” I knew that one well too.
Once I opened my eyes, and just began to observe my family, how clearly I could now see the truth reflected in the mirror.
My son upset one day, said, “Mum, I don’t think I am meant to be here with this family. I think there was a mistake, and I got born, but there isn’t actually a place for me here”. Now I could have spent the next few weeks working on allowing my son to feel he has a place in our family by loving him more, praising him more and so on, but I knew I already did all of that every day. I also knew where I had heard this before. I said the exact same thing to my mum many years ago. I felt the same thing as he felt right then.
I thought I had gotten over it, not having a place within my family, but I had actually buried that feeling of not being enough, down deep within myself. And now here it was looking me in the face. In fact, it’s a belief I have carried for many years, a feeling of not being able to fit in anywhere, because I think and feel differently to other people.
I remember growing up thinking God had made a mistake when I was born, he was having an off day and placed me somewhere where I had no place value. It led to a life of suffering and to me almost not being here to write these words today.
I worked on some of it over the years and obviously buried the rest. But when it’s looking me right in the face disguised as my 10-year-old son, there is no more hiding it.
What I couldn’t do for myself all those years ago, I now had to do for my son.
I had to let go of that feeling I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t meant for this world, and I had to see that standing there right then and there I was everything I was meant to be, in the perfect place at the perfect time. I was meant to be born, meant to go through what I went through, and I was meant for this world, just as my son is meant for this world, as you and your precious child are meant for this world.
The universe doesn’t make mistakes.
We are all born for a reason, everything that happens to us happens for a reason.
We are not mistakes, we are miracles.
Affirmation: ‘Today I take MY place in the world. The place that was meant for me and me alone. The unique path and life purpose that was created for me with love. I rise up, I stand tall, and I accept that I am meant for this world’.