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Each of us comes with a unique temperamental and energetic blueprint. It is with this blueprint that we seek to engage the world. As children, our parents provide us with our first mirror of this way of being. It is through their eyes that we develop an understanding of who it is we are. When this mirror has the capacity to reflect radiance and acceptance, our spirit within swells and expands to meet the limitless vibration of the Universe. However, when this mirror is distorted and broken, unable to reflect anything but its own preoccupations, then our spirit crumbles, fearful of its power, severed from its ability to be One with the Universe.

When we talk about accepting our children, we mistake this for a process that is passive or natural. At times it is. However, for the most part, acceptance of another – be it our children, our partners, parents, friends – is a moment-to-moment challenge that we have to actively engage in.

We all like to think of ourselves as unconditionally accepting of our children. Yet, if we are brutally honest with ourselves we will come to see that we are highly conditional. As long as our children follow the beat of our drum we are okay and accepting. The minute they veer off the path of what we think is acceptable or “okay,” we pitch a fit. Subtly, or not-so-subtly, we try to control them to bring them our way.

I can hear parents immediately say, “but what about when we need to discipline them?” This acceptance I am talking about has nothing to do with the discipline process. This acceptance comes way before any imposition of rules and boundaries. This acceptance is all about how we feel within ourselves when we relate to our children and nothing to do with the actual behavior of our children. Acceptance of their core being comes first. Changing behavior comes later, much later.

Accepting another takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of inner work. It demands that we relinquish our pre-determined ideas of how things should? look and enter into a state of inner fluidity where we engage with how things actually are instead. Acceptance of our children requires a few concrete things: 1) a moment-to-moment vigilance of how it is we are feeling within ourselves, 2) an ownership of these feelings and 3) a detachment from them so that we do not vomit these feelings onto our children.

When we engage in a moment-to-moment mindfulness of our reactions to our children and are aware that most of them are colored by our own perceptions about our own selves and lives, we will be illuminated to the extent of our conditionality. Paradoxically, it is this awareness of our capacity for a self-centered conditionality that will open us to the experience of true un-conditionality.

Constant inner work allows us to witness our desire for control and knowing-ness. When we receive a bird’s-eye view of just how desperate we are that things proceed in our way, according to our agenda, and in-tune with our fantasies, we will come to see how we don’t really wish for our children to be their own spirits, but in actuality our little minions. When we are willing to be naked to this realization, ah, then, only then, will we begin detaching from this process. This detachment will naturally bring about space. Space naturally brings ease. Ease brings flow. Flow brings acceptance.

The question: “whose need am I meeting through this reaction?” needs to be a constant one. We will pick up on this question in the next blog.

 

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