We all come into the world with a divine blueprint – the unique guide to our spiritual evolution. And while we may all share this in common, our blueprints are customized and tailored to help us meet our own personal spiritual goals.
As parents, we certainly want what’s best for our children. But how parents relate to their children, in terms of expectations, is typically a function of what parents deem as “best”. Except in cases of abuse and neglect, most parents mean well when they prescribe or dictate certain goals, standards or aspirations for their children. But many parents may be shocked to learn that what they consider to be dedicated and responsible parenting, often constitutes a trespass across the boundaries of free will.
For example, I know a 12-year-old boy who has “professional” parents. His father is a lawyer and mother is a doctor. His parents want what’s best for their son, so they insist that he pull all “A’s” in the advanced-level classes where they insisted he be placed. Furthermore, they tell him that he must become either a doctor or lawyer when he grows up.
The boy, despite 3-4 hours of homework per night, does not get A’s, or even B’s. He is in over his head and stressed all the time. He’s unhappy and feels like a constant disappointment to his parents and dreads the prospect of following a career path that doesn’t serve his interests or resonate with his passion or gifts.
The boy has his heart set on working with aquatic mammals. But at the young age of 12, he spends his days under an oppressive parental cloud that not only over-shadows his childhood, but threatens to co-opt is future as well.
As parents, we simply haven’t the right to predetermine or confine the interests and pursuits of our children. We must keep them fed, housed, clothed, loved and cared for – but we mustn’t trespass on their free will.
We are each entitled to our one shot at a given lifetime. But many parents attempt to garnish the lives of their children either out of compulsion for control, or because they view their children’s lives as virtual second-chances as unrequited dreams.
To paraphrase from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, our children come to us and through us – but not from us. Parents are as bows – while children are as arrows. It is our job to maximize the ability of our arrows to fly as far and straight as possible – but in the direction of the arrow’s choice – not the bow’s.
While conscientious parenting is commendable, sometimes less is more. When we rein ourselves in a bit, we allow our children room to breathe and grow in the direction of the light. Just as a flower turns its face toward the sun naturally, and without external guidance – so too, is our divine blue print self evident.
Too many restrictions on free will can lead to short and long terms effects of depleted self-confidence, lowered self-esteem, resentment, substance use or abuse and/or reactionary backlash. In extreme circumstances suicidal thought or tendencies may result. This is because free will is the soil that embeds the spirit. Restrict it – and you eliminate the sun, water and air supply.
True happiness can not be attained through material means. Occupations, money and status can not, in and of themselves, constitute the completion of one’s soul. Only those behaviors that resonate with the frequency of one’s vibrations can result in true happiness, and as parents, we have no greater responsibility than to shelter, support and facilitate our children’s spiritual growth.
So keep your child safe and well – but from a healthy distance. Support them in the directions they choose and love them for who they are, unconditionally – with no strings attached. Allow them to explore what the world has to offer (both from within and without) and allow them to listen to the voice that speaks to them from their center. For it is their own inner voice – that speaks only to them – that holds the key to their Divine blueprint and the path that will ultimately maximize the potentialities of their spirit.