In my journey as a parent, I have gained valuable insights and a unique perspective on parenting. It is important to note that the views I share are based on my own experiences and continuous self-inquiry. Over the years, my perspective on parenting has evolved and continues to evolve as I grow in consciousness and awareness. It is common, however, to feel guilt or self-criticism when our views change, looking back at past parenting decisions with regret. But it is crucial to remember that you did the best you could with the knowledge and consciousness you had at that time. As you strive to expand your consciousness and be there for yourself and your children, you can release any guilt or shame about the past and embrace a view of Purejoy.
Feeling guilty is often a refusal to fully embrace the present moment. Instead of beating yourself up for past actions, it is more productive to be intimately aware of your current reality. This aligns with the wisdom shared by my one of my mentors, Bruce Tiff. By accepting where you are now, you can let go of self-judgment and cultivate a loving relationship with yourself.
During a recent conversation with fellow parents, we delved into the distinction between power and influence. When you are emotionally triggered and feel powerless, it is natural to resort to powerful behaviors in an attempt to control your children’s actions. However, it is important to recognize that no one likes to be controlled or overpowered. True influence, on the other hand, stems from love. Sadly, our culture often undermines the power of love and favors actions driven by power and control. This overprotection and desire for control can lead to worry and a constant need to exert power over others, especially your children. Admitting your powerlessness over another person’s actions can be difficult, particularly in the parental role. You may believe that you have the power to make your children listen, respect you, and do as you say. But in reality, you do not possess this power. By consciously choosing influence over power, you can create a nurturing environment based on love.
Influencing others through love is not about pleasing or placating them. It is about tapping into the core tenderness of your love for humanity, embracing all aspects of yourself, including your flaws and imperfections. When you open your heart and let go of the need to control, you can authentically influence your environment with love. Your actions stem from a place of love, rather than being driven solely by your emotions. This shift from power to influence requires self-love and self-acceptance. It is not about loving others; rather, it is about recognizing the profound tenderness of your own being. When you experience this deep love, the door to influence opens, and your actions naturally emanate from a place of love.
Parenting from love is a powerful choice. It transcends the personal and embraces openness and clarity. It is difficult to put into words, as it is a feeling that can only be truly understood through your experience. Think about those moments when you are captivated by the beauty of a sunset, and your heart swells with love. That is the kind of influence we aim for as parents – one that arises from the depths of our love for ourselves and our children.
I encourage you to continue the journey of parenting from love, embracing influence over power. Let go of guilt and self-judgment, and instead, fully embrace the present moment. Parent yourself and your child with love, and allow your actions to flow from the wellspring of love within you.