We don’t OWN them. You can’t own another human being.
Their choices don’t define us, they define them.
Our children don’t actually BELONG to us. Again, this still implies ownership. As if they have an obligation to do, be, say or act in a certain way to receive our love and acceptance. They don’t, that is love with conditions.
Yes, the decision to have children — love, nurture, teach and care for them — is an enormous undertaking, both in energy, time and money.
Yes, it feels as though your heart is walking outside of your body. And, because they feel like an extension of you, it’s a natural reaction to want them to be safe, to make decisions that are the best for them and lead to personal fulfillment.
Our children are given life through us so that they can throw themselves into this world with abandon, embrace both victory and defeat, and come out the other side sovereign and expanded. They need to be allowed to make their mark, unhindered by the story we tell ourselves that life is scary and we must protect ourselves and and those we care for at all cost.
Our children are infinite beings in a body experiencing life — just like us, but in a younger body. And they have the same connection to consciousness that we do. Often, they are more tapped into their heart, emotions and intuition than we are.
Yes, we need to guide them — but not live their lives for them — or withhold love because they don’t make the choices we would like them to.
Because the choices that we made, taught us as they will guide them. We don’t need to hang over them — in helicopter parenting style — concerned about every move they make and in fear they might mess up, struggle or feel unworthy. The adversity, challenge, and feelings of “not enough” will bring them home to more of themselves.
They will fall down.
That is life. But that’s also how they grow. And, that’s why we’re all here. Pain and discomfort is the foundation for expansion. Without that experience we miss the whole gift of being here.
Our children are more than worthy and capable. And they need to be allowed to do find that truth for themselves. Not just by us telling them so but also through discovering their power on their own.
Children need the liberty to fall, learn how to get back up, dust themselves off and keep going. They need to be given the latitude to explore life on their terms, without the worry that if they do something that we wouldn’t, they will lose our approval.
I discovered this truth through my oldest son, Will.
When he was little, I protected, guarded and deprived him of the lessons that serve to define us. And, in fifth grade, he was thrown curve balls which I couldn’t prevent or shield him from. And because I hadn’t given him the tools or the experience to know that he could handle rejection, I saw him shattered by something which he might have otherwise transcended and prevailed.
I wanted to prevent him from feeling the pain I endured but in doing so I had failed him.
So I used this string of events to let go of the bubble of protection I created for him. The shield had become a prison for both of us.
And now I know and practice being the parent who is brave enough to allow my children to learn the lessons they were meant to for growth.
I realized that it was my job to love and care for Will — and give him the tools that I use myself — -but also bestow him with the conditions that support evolution. So that he can reach deep into himself, find resilience and triumph, rather than dig his heels into unworthiness and lack.
Real love — regardless of how vulnerable you may feel — is having the courage to give your heart to someone while releasing them to the find truth. Without conditions, judgement or fear.
Our children need life’s conflicts to gain emotional mastery and become sovereign beings.