Part of the work I do as a parent,
in fact a lot of the work that I do
in trying to be a conscious parent
is what happens when I am NOT around my daughter at all.
It has to do with the inner workings of my mind
and the conditions I create in my heart.
I am very careful about the thoughts I think and the feelings I have
that are connected to my daughter.
I pay attention to them very closely when I am going through my day
even when she’s not around.
The Work I Do On My Own Is Important
In some ways the work I do on my own is more important
than what I do when I am with her
because it is the training I give myself that allows me to
treat her the way that I want to treat her.
She is just about to finish high school.
Moving on to another phase of life.
I am helping her study for her last exam… chemistry.
She used to love science when she was younger,
but a couple of difficult experiences with some bad teachers robbed her of that joy.
Now she really cannot stand the science we are studying.
Going through that textbook is like torture!
Effective Learning Has No Place In School!
I was thinking about the school system the other day.
Thinking about how in studying for this exam
she is having to memorize a whole year’s worth of material
so she can spit it out during a two hour exam.
There is really absolutely no sense to this whatsoever.
It almost seems like the opposite of intelligent planning.
If we want people to really learn something deeply this is not the way.
Perhaps that is not the point of formal education.
Perhaps it never was.
I hope one day it will be.
In any case, as I was pondering this I had the thought cross my mind
“Well she is never going to need chemistry in her life after this anyway.”
A Limiting Thought
Then it hit me, what if she really does love chemistry and wants to be a chemist?
Just because she is having a difficult time with it now
doesn’t mean she’s locked into that view forever!
It is entirely possible that she can heal from the difficult experiences she’s had
and re-embrace her love of chemistry and science in general.
I realized at that moment, by holding the thought
that she would not go into science I was limiting her.
But I do not want to limit her.
I Do Not Want To Limit Her
I want to hold the most expansive view of her future that I can.
I want to have the most open perspective on her present that I can.
And while I know it is necessary to see the reality of her situation
I also want to hold a vision of her as perfectly healed, whole and free!
So I learned a very important lesson through this experience.
This has given me yet another thing to work on
to be the kind of parent I want to be.
Time for a Change
I must seek out all of the ways that I see her as limited.
The ways that I have fallen into the habit of
seeing her wounds being a permanent part of her personality.
I must change this perspective to the
seeing her healed and perfect and whole.
Clearly I will have to undo some habits for this to occur.
I know that as her father the way I perceive her
profoundly affects how she sees herself.
Even though she is 18 I continue to influence her self-image.
My Vision Of Her Affects My Actions
It also has an effect on the way I treat her.
The choice of words I may have,
the tone of my voice when discussing certain subjects,
the suggestions I might make it to her
and even things subtle as a look or a sigh
can have a real effect on how she sees herself and her own future.
My Role Is To Build Her Up
I want to always be the agent of her expansion not her contraction
Of her belief in herself not her doubt
Of her connection to her inner power not her feelings of limitation.
More work ahead.
I welcome it
I embrace it
Bring it on!