Thoughts On Parenting

Just some things that occurred to me I wanted to share. Not sure if this wanted to be an article or a poem. Not even sure if it will be complete when written.

For the record I am not at this moment a parent. But I want to be one, and have set an intention that I will be one.

What occurred to me is this… “A parent’s primary concern is for the survival of their offspring.” You could call that a sort of love. The parent with this concern will do all they can to ensure their offspring will survive.

Now there are parents who do not wish to ensure the survival of their offspring, and parents that simply don’t care about their offspring. But the innate drive should still be in there, somewhere.

As I thought about this I found I was able to understood some of what my own parents had done to me. I believe I have forgiven them, but with this understanding, if I had not, it would be easier.

My parents were raised thinking certain things about “reality” and something called the “real world.” They had these beliefs about what I would need in order to survive. They probably did not call this survival, but something like, “making it in the real world.”

There were certain ways that they believed I would need to behave in the presence of others or alone. Certain rules they believed I needed to follow, spoken or unspoken. Everything they did was an effort to ensure that I would make it “out there.”

When they called the pastor and the elders of our church at that time to come and anoint my head with oil in an attempt to “cure” me of masturbation, they did so because they believed that as a Christian it was wrong of me to do this, and also that it was not socially acceptable behavior.

Spanking me, whipping me, teaching me to obey them, giving me rules to follow etc. all served the same purpose. To make me conform, to make me fit in, to ensure I would “make it” or survive.

This shows how much they cared for me, loved me. Even though their definition of what love is was twisted. This is not deep love, real love, true love. That kind of love is loving and accepting no matter with, with no exceptions. This is the kind of love I am determined to show my own children when I have them.

My parents likely never experienced this kind of love from the authority figures in their lives, so they had no way of showing it to me. They showed love as they understood it. Their definition of love as learned from their own parents. Their own parents were also making sure their children would “make it, out there.”

I could probably safely guess that this goes back to the start of my family, on both sides. I could also probably safely guess that all these people, as part of their understanding of “reality” saw the world as a place which is not friendly to those who do not fit in, do not conform.

Fitting it equates to survival. A child that does not fit in is not perceived as having much of a chance of “making it” in the “real world.” They are too different, the world doesn’t understand them, etc. Their prospects for survival are very low.

I just read from Osho how laws are a revenge from society against those who do not fit in, who do not conform:

Once again this man seems to me to be speaking the truth. I also just read about some proposed law in Florida giving a 1 year jail sentence to anyone who uses a restroom not assigned to their gender, if passed. That just seems to reinforce what Osho says.

If you are not a cog in the wheel of the great machine of society of what use are you? That is what modern society seems to be silently asking everyone. Parents respond by pounding on you, molding you, bending you, breaking off parts of you, trying desperately to make you fit in. To turn you into a good little useful gear. a nice round peg for a round hole.

The result of course is more and more people that do not fit in, because the focus of humanity seems to be on not wanting people who do not fit in, who do not conform, in fact to punish the outsiders, the unacceptable and the unworthy. So we see more of these people perceived to be undesirable.

Sexual repression gives a solid double-whammy, making even more people who do not conform. The more legalized and repressive our society is, the stronger the focus on what is not wanted, the more of what is not wanted will burst from the seams of society, so-to-speak.

I was lucky to have loving parents. Maybe they were a little abusive, overprotective and suffocating. Maybe they essentially forced me into the Christian religion. Maybe they caused me all sorts of issues I have been working through about my body and my sexuality. I am only just coming to love and accept myself as I am.

Nothing they have done is permanent. If something exists that could have been done to me, the opposite of this also exists. So I can undo everything. Nothing is hidden in the subconscious. I have full and complete access to my mind. I am not some robot who can be programmed subconsciously. Everything in my mind is accessible, any beliefs I have adopted from them can be, and are being, changed.

I don’t see the world as they do, and I don’t want to. I could care less about society. I will let society be what it is, but I am going to ignore it and follow my own path. It is not rebellion. I am not at war with anyone or anything. I just see society as flawed, and the system as broken. I have determined to do what I can to lay the foundation for an entirely different reality for my children and their offspring.

If you are bitter towards those who raised you, if you have been holding a grudge, it is time to forgive these people. If they cared enough for you to try to make you conform and fit in you are blessed. You have been shown love, to the best of their understanding. You can forgive them, because they only, deep down, wanted to ensure you would “make it”, that you would survive “out there” in the “real world.”

They probably didn’t know any better, and even if they did, they may not have known how to do any better. Having the knowledge is only part of what is needed. There also has to be a way to apply it, and they may have been unable to find a way. Maybe even because of others in their own lives trying to get them to conform, to “fit in”, although this is done more to make someone happy then out of any sense of love.

So forgive your parents or those who raised you, and let all the weight of that you have been carrying around go. Just drop it. It has no value and isn’t worth carrying. Forgive them, love and accept yourself as you are, then love and accept them as they are. Send them a smile, in your mind or in a picture or both. Let them know you care, you love them, and you understand.

If they abandoned you, didn’t really care about you at all, showed no affection. that too is a blessing. You had to learn to be strong, to stand on your own. Perhaps they thought they didn’t love you enough. Perhaps they realized that they had been raised by their own parents to conform, and they didn’t want to do that to you. Even if they did not really care, you can still forgive them, then let go and release all you have been holding in.

If they were abusive to you chances are they were abused. They only ever knew abuse. It is up to you to break the chain of abuse. You can only do that when you forgive them, for every bruise, broken bone or cut. You have to free yourself of them by forgiving them before you can break that chain of abuse. You don’t want to abuse your children and pass the abuse on down the line do you? No, deep down inside, no matter what you think you feel, you don’t want that. You want it to end. So end it.

Everyone does the best they can, the best they know how to do, to the best of their understanding. Almost everyone comes into parenthood with the lessons they learned from those who raised them. This story of their past, part of their ego, their identity. Those lessons, whatever they are, will be passed on to their children. Once you understand this I think you will find you can easily forgive your parents.

It is such a heavy burden to bear. This anger, this dislike, this fear, this hatred. All this pain. You can choose to continue lugging it around, or you can choose to release it and let it go in forgiveness. In love and acceptance, of yourself, in love and acceptance of those who raised you.

In that love and acceptance you will find freedom. Maybe in that freedom you can raise your own children without trying to conform them, without trying to make them more acceptable, without making them fit in.

Maybe you can love and accept them as well, and support them as they walk their own unique life path. Maybe you can let go of your worry about their survival. Just raise them with the knowledge they need, all you would pass down, and then step back in faith, trusting you have done enough.

You don’t help a chicken out of its egg or a caterpillar out of its cocoon. You allow these struggles, they ensure the survival of the organism. Likewise your children will have their struggles in the pursuit of their own dreams. You don’t need to make it any harder for them. There will be plenty of challenges in the natural course of their lives. These challenges will make them stronger, will allow them to transform and become whoever it is they were meant to become.

Trust that your children came into this world with a definite plan, knowing exactly what they were going to do, and have faith in them enough, trust them enough, to support them as they follow their own unique life path.

Show them the ropes, raise them to know the rules as you understand them, but don’t try to change them or conform them. Don’t use force on them. Don’t try to pound them into shape, to make them fit. They are not supposed to fit. We are humans, not lemmings!

Above all else, love and acceptance, first of yourself, then of them. Let that be the first commandment of child raising.

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