< BACK  | AT HOME • February 24, 2014
Liberating our Children through Love
“We liberate children not by making them work for our love, but by letting them rest in it”
How often I see lives destroyed by the search for our parent’s love/validation – from intimate relationships where a partner is unable to ‘see’ his spouse because he’s still seeking his father’s validation, to a child who sets to ‘prove’ himself to his mother by forgoing his passion and instead dedicating himself to some random profession in hopes to ‘please’ her or make her ‘proud’.
It is an immense burden to live searching for our parent’s love. A burden that will slowly shrivel your soul. We are often raised with dreams and expectations our parents hope we can fulfill – often built on their own world view or unfulfilled dreams. Full of good intention, rarely have these ‘dreams’ been run passed the child to see if it suits who they are, their essence, their being. Parents decide what’s best, and a child’s calling goes unacknowledged.
My own journey strongly calls forth this theme. I stepped into a pre-chosen future set by my parents. It taught me a lot, I am grateful for the skills I learned. What it didn’t give me was internal fulfillment. Stepping off that pre-decided path was one of the hardest things I ever did. I was called ‘selfish’ and ridden with guilt for years. In hindsight, it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Setting forth on my own path, defined by no one but me, has allowed me to blaze a trail like no other and set forth into motion my soul’s true calling.
As a parent to a 4 year old – I have consciously never allowed my son to feel he needs to ‘earn’ my love. He doesn’t have to be the best student in class. He doesn’t have to be first in P.E. He certainly doesn’t have to keep his socks from getting holes in them (really baffles me how boys do that?). He doesn’t have to grow up to be the most popular boy in class or make millions via some pre-chosen career. He is loved for all that he is already. He is loved simply and purely for the fact that he exists. He is loved because he is.
Free yourself. You need no one’s validation but your own. You are seeking something externally that can only come from within. Once you approve and love yourself, nothing on the outside can break you, no one’s approval can make you. If you’re a parent – love your child as is. This means something profound – you have to be the living embodiment of self-love and self-approval. Surely, you cannot give what you do not have.
Love yourself, you’re worth it. The ripple effect of self-love is generations of your children to come to be whole, fulfilled and complete. I do wonder – and accept that I cannot fathom – how that will change the world.