The Box That's Crushing Our Kids
I want to describe my parenting philosophy, because I think for many its difficult to understand how I can be okay living a very different parenting life than the one that's fed to us.
I sat watching my 9 year old playing this afternoon, and found her imaginative play to be so inspiring, and further empowering to me. So using this simple image of her finished creation I will attempt to explain why this is so freaking awesome!
The way I see my role as a parent/guide often appears so different (maybe intriguing?) from what is culturally accepted. Sometimes it may come across as care-free or dare I say lazy, because it is largely a hands off approach. But that doesn't mean I haven't spent thousands of hours contemplating how I can best serve my children (which actually translates into how I best serve the world as a whole!). No this a very conscious approach I've taken, a conscious path I continue to walk. Where each choice I make runs through a filter of questions regarding my own belief systems, patterns & conditioning.
Each choice is an opportunity to decide if I want to pass down that belief system to my child, because I know that it can & 100% will impact them.
These 3D puzzle blocks represent the 4 elements. The cave being earth, the fire being fire, the rainbow being air, and the water being water of course. Smallest to biggest they are designed to fit together like a puzzle, the other 3 house like structures are whatever your want them to be, a home, or perhaps a gateway into another dimension ;)
Our society, our culture has slowly been grooming the wild, the spiritual, the magical, the creative out of our children in favour of order, linear, & analytical thinking. A very masculine energetic approach to life. Doing this or that in a particular way, instead of playing, flowing with or being.
Being has very little value to most people, it falls in the same category as lazy. This grooming process begins innocently enough with telling kids how to dress, to match or work towards creating a particular "appropriate" appearance. Or how to play with their toys, how to eat their food, how much food to eat, how much liquid to drink. When to sleep, how to sleep. It goes on and on and on.
Children are then placed in a predicament where they cannot trust themselves or their own body's signals, because it will oppose what their parents say, and children cannot tolerate dissonance from their parents, its not safe for them to believe their parent could be wrong because that makes them feel unsafe, so they revert to the only safe option, that the parent is right, and therefore there is something wrong with them. Their bodies, their intuition, their senses are not to be trusted.
We create a box to fit them into, because we ourselves exist within that same box. Despite its very limiting and confining nature, it gives us the illusion of security and safety so we happily keep ourselves in it, and train our offspring to do the same.
Unknowingly, we pass on the message that they must remain in the box and fulfill the expectation and rules within that structure, otherwise they will be unsafe, unsupported, unaccepted, or maybe even unloved. That being conditional love. I will show you love when you fulfill my expectations, and I will withhold love when you don't.
Here's the thing though, all the solutions we need for the challenges we face now as a society, and far into the future, will come from individuals thinking OUTSIDE the box. Outside our linear mind, outside our limiting beliefs and colonized patterns of behaviour.
Innovation, collaboration, ingenuity, idealism, alchemy, and evolution.This all comes from somewhere else, outside the confinement of our "secure" boxes.
It cannot be taught in our current school systems, our children are born with it! Hearts open, they are pure love, one with everything, unlimited creative potential.... That is until we start placing structures and limits all around them, dismantling their imagination over and over and over with our logical processes until they are firmly imprisoned in the box we feel is safe for them.
The box we think is for their safety, survival, and success in the future, but in reality if we look closer... no, not closer, DEEPER, if we look deeper we see its for our own safety.
We are a culture so disconnected from ourselves that we are in constant search of love and approval from others, anything outside the box means potentially experiencing rejection, disappointment and disapproval. And that's painful, scary, and unsafe. In fact it's so painful that many spend their entire lives outside their own integrity and firmly confined to someone else's box of ideals.
Never fully empowered by their own truth.... This is the real tragedy of our time.
So, with all this in mind, you might start to understand how I've come to parent & live my life the way I do. I'm a person committed to staying in alignment with my truth, living life with integrity regardless of whether that puts me inside or outside someone else's box. This means continually recognizing the walls placed around me, and the walls I've placed around myself and then when I see them for what they are I start taking them down, dismantling them one at a time. It is not an easy path, but it is a very soul nurturing self-fulfilling path.
My most important role as parent then is to NOT put these walls up in the first place. To do everything in my power to encourage their imaginative play, honour their innate wisdom, see their wholeness and perfection, and nurture their connection to Mother Earth. I will not be the one to dim their inner light! They may encounter others who will try, but if they can come into adulthood with their feet firmly planted in their own truth, without the programming that leads them to believe the world is a scary & unsafe place or that they will need to "fit in" to survive, then they will embody a deeper truth and trust in themselves. That is something that cannot be taken away from the!.
Wow, isn't this really what we want for our children? REAL peace and prosperity, something that comes from within and can never be taken from them?
Back to the image. Someone conditioned to believe there is only one way to work with this puzzle, one visually appealing way to create with it would put them back together as they were designed to do.
My daughter sees something much more, this is a fire castle! For the great knights who are defending their kingdom from tyranny and destruction to the cultures neighbouring villages.
In the movie Avatar: The last Airbender, she would be the avatar, the children of the future. The avatars have the ability to master all the elements. This is alchemy, this is magic, this is innovation, evolution.
There can be no work of greater importance than raising the next generation to believe and trust in themselves, letting them blossom into their unique gifts without the wounds that have crippled us, or the structures that have limited us.
This is my truth, and I'm enjoying watching them blossom into their unique gifts without the same limiting beliefs I was confined to. I let imagination run wild with all the possibilities & potential a generation of conscious, emotional mature adults will contribute to our society. What great change will they bring?