Monday, September 1, 2014

Parenting In the "New Age": Spiritually Sovereign Kids

I look back to when I was pregnant with my daughter 15 years ago, and I have to gently laugh as I remember my expectations back then, my hopes and aspirations for my unborn child. I had a couple of very profound dreams while pregnant with her, and knew I was bringing a very Spiritually alert and aware being into this world. I would daydream about meditating with her, teaching her about the Chakra's, exploring the world with her as she encountered people and places for the first time. I did not for one moment imagine my child would be any different than I was.

As most parents realize as their child begins to talk and walk, I tried to encourage her to participate in her world of imagination, always telling her stories about angels, and fairies, and unseen worlds. In the first five years of her life, she was indeed very connected, and would make very profound statements about angels, people, fairies etc. One day while driving in the car, on a sunny day, she said from her baby seat in the back "Mommy do you see it? It's so pretty!!" and I asked "What honey? What do you see?" I looked in the rear view mirror at her and she was staring out the window, up into the sky, and I thought maybe she saw a plane, as we were near the Toronto International airport. But her response left me speechless; she said "The sun mommy! It has ribbons of light that come down into every persons heart filling them with love!"

This was the type of child she was in the first few years of her life, and I was so eager to continue to nurture and nourish her spirituality as she grew.

So a couple of years ago when she announced to her dad and I that "I'm an atheist" I didn't know how to feel or what to say. How could this child, who was created in so much love, who was so full of wonder, and magic, and so obviously a Crystal child stop believing in magick?

In truth, she's come to accept and admit she is agnostic, as she does believe in "something", but not God, not something sentient, or man made, that makes rules or punishes sinners. And this is exactly where my own beliefs are rooted. And yet I am always walkin within magick, where as my child is completely earth-bound. She does not dwell in her imagination, and at the age of 14 she is so pragmatic, scientific, and sensible. So completely opposite of me!

If someone had told me 15 years ago while I was still pregnant with her that she wouldn't share my spiritual passions I would have snorted in disbelief! How could this being, who has spent 9 months living within me, who has been a part of my soul for all eternity, not share my deeply woven spiritual hunger and passion?

But it's been 15 years, and a lot changes in a decade and a half. I am thrilled that my daughter has developed her own beliefs, and if nothing else I wish to provide her with the space, freedom, and acceptance to continue to cultivate her own beliefs.

You see, we tend to condition our children to share our own faith, which our own parents conditioned us to have. I was very lucky, and I've mentioned it before, that my own mother who was brought up Catholic, gave me the freedom to choose my own path spiritually. She allowed me to attend a Christian church when I was young, and when I walked away from the dogma of Christianity and began to explore Wicca, and Buddhism, she supported that too. In this way, I had the best roll model. My mother taught me that the truest gift we can give our kids, is the opportunity to discover their own spiritual beliefs.

Renée is very like me in so many ways; we share the same twisted dry sense of sarcastic humor, we laugh so loudly and so often together. She is deeply compassionate and a very philosophical thinker, and we can share long discussions about so many topics together. Yet when it comes to my Spiritual beliefs and values, I tend to not "bother" her with them. I know she believes very similarly to me, yet expresses her belief in a very intimate and private way. Where as her mom is public in her Paganism, and blogs about it, and reads Tarot cards for a living, for herself spirituality is a private sanctum within her. One she needn't talk about or examine. And I respect that.

I think this is an important gift any parent can give their own child; the freedom to explore, and discern on their own what feels right to them as individuals with their own minds. When we believe very strongly in something, we tend to indoctrinate our children with it, never really wondering if this is what they would choose for themselves if given the opportunity. Yet how different their beliefs and convictions would be if they came to them on their own, in their own time and way?

I urge all New Age Spiritualists to let their children seek God or Divinity on their own terms. Offer them perspectives, different beliefs, different ideologies, and then let them investigate and come to their own sets of ideals and conclusions. It would have been very easy for me to make Renée into a little clone of me, sharing my beliefs, but I never wanted to enforce my own ideals on her; it has always been imperative to me that I allow her to be her own person, no matter how young she was. She is my child, but she is not my creation; she is her own person, and as such I have always tried to give her the space she needs to develop her own ideas about life, love, spirit, and peace.

There are literally billions of people on this planet who have religious beliefs simply because they were not offered alternatives. Muslims are Muslims and Christians are Christians and they both are such because that is what their parents made them. Had their parents given them the freedom to find God in their own way, I can't help but think there would be far less religion on this planet, and far more Spirituality.

And remember the old cliché; if you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it was meant to be. I think if parents do this with their children's spiritual lives they may be shocked to find their kids end up coming back to the core family values in the end with which they were raised.

Spiritual sovereignty is the greatest gift anyone can give their children - freedom is a precious gift to give! Often if you let your kids explore their own imagination, inner world, conscience and explore the world around them, you'll find them coming to know God in their own intimate way.

Love & Blessings,

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