What’s out there is what’s in here
What I am about to share with you is not a new idea and it’s not my own idea. In fact, I am sure you have probably heard of this concept before. But the day I truly saw the living reality of it, it began to transform my life—and my children’s lives. And it was also the day that I realized I had been fooling myself for many, many years.
I finally understood in a flash of a moment, that everything I project “outwardly”onto others is a reflection of what is going on “inwardly.” The more I became aware of this and started to test this concept out, the more my life began to change for the better! And for the “betterment” of my children! Although most of us who have (bravely and courageously) put even one toe on the “spiritual path” are already familiar with this metaphysical principle, how often do we consider it within the context of Parenting?
It’s likely that when we’ve worked with this idea in the past we’ve drudged up the most recent interactions not with our children but with our romantic partner or co-worker or employer or close friend—and then humbly saw what might need attention within ourselves. But how can this awareness be applied in the dynamic of parent-to-child and child-to-parent?
I don’t believe parenting with the New Spirituality requires anything unusual or unrealistic. And — much like the “effortless parenting” practice I pointed to in my last article — I think there is a skill lying dormant in us that can be easily awakened when we gently notice that what’s appearing outside of us is really the very same thing that’s appearing inside of us. “Fooling myself” is how I first referred to this back when I began to recognize my tendency to imagine that what my children were displaying “out there” was anything different or other than what was already living “in here.”
Fooling ourselves is an innocent daily ritual for most of us, and usually we don’t even know that we’re doing it. Think of all of the times you have lost patience with your children, felt angry or overwhelmed. These feelings are usually experienced and believed to be your natural outward reaction to the challenging situation of the moment. But what if you noticed that the lack of patience you are having with your child might be because you are feeling little patience with yourself that day? What if your anger is on the rise not because your child is displaying anger, but because you were angry with yourself already? And suppose your intolerance toward your child is because you are not feeling very tolerant of the perfectly imperfect human being that your Soul came here to experience! What if all of these emotions stem from the fact that you have forgotten in the flurry of parenting to tend to your own emotions; your inner self; your Soul?
First, it’s a high level of Mastery to even notice and want to take responsibility for what we are experiencing on the “inside”– so let’s acknowledge what a huge shift that is in and of itself!
As a parent — and especially a new one — it’s easy to imagine that because we are now in this society-created role, we should have it all figured out, and that losing patience or feeling angry or overwhelmed is no longer okay to experience. There are a number of principles from the Conversations with God messages that might help ease the self-judgment that comes swimming in (sometimes like a tsunami!) in our daily interactions with our children. In this article, let’s add the concept “We Are All One” and notice that if this is a reality, how might both you and your children be working to heal the same Illusions? Perhaps viewing your own ups & downs mirrored by your child back to you can remind you that your souls are always “on the same team,” and help you to feel more compassion and empathy for the whole dance you’re doing together on any given day.
Even though it can at first seem more convenient to get past the moment and live in denial of what we’re feeling or what judgment we’re placing on our self, learning to pause and to take even one full minute to examine what is going on inside can improve our natural skills in dealing appropriately with the situations appearing on the outside.
If we were to practice a 1-Minute meditation many times a day (because sometimes those short segments of time are all we’ve got!), how might it affect our overall experience of parenting and the exchanges we have with our children? If you decided that the greatest gift you could give yourself today was to be patient or compassionate or understanding and tender with you, there would most likely be a natural tendency to then offer the same with your children, and continue to work on healing Illusions together.
A “Mama Laurie Mantra” that might help (and one I still use often!): “If I see it Out there, I’m looking In here!”
(Laurie Lankins Farley has worked with Neale Donald Walsch for approximately 10 years. She is the Executive Director of his non-profit The School of the New Spirituality and creative co-director of CwGforParents.com. Laurie has published an inspirational children’s book “The Positive Little Soul.” She can be contacted at Parenting@TheGlobalConversation.com.)