Please envision all of the images you have seen of Mother Mary holding the Christ child. Here is this beautiful young woman, dressed in perfectly clean clothes with a child who is, quite frankly, usually overweight, but nevertheless dressed immaculately. The images you have received is that she was the perfect parent and Jesus was the perfect child. Please take these images and throw them in the garbage can in your mind because they have no bearing on reality. Mother Mary was in embodiment like you are in embodiment. She may or may not have had greater spiritual attainment than you do now. But do not believe that she was the perfect person or that Jesus was the perfect child.
Their life together, in bringing up Jesus, was messy. It was very messy because he was a very difficult and very demanding child. The only way that Mother Mary could survive in that environment was to be true to herself, and that, of course, required that she had to make an effort to know herself. This was difficult because she was very young at the time.
The first lesson in parenthood is that it is not about focusing first of all on the children, but about focusing on yourself. Know yourself first. How else will you know how to relate to your children? This, of course, means in practical terms that you walk the spiritual path. There is so much material today that is available that was not available in the past. Take advantage of this whether you are planning to become a parent, whether you are already a parent. Spend some effort to at least tune in to the essence of the path and find out who you really are and what you would really like to do in this lifetime.
Being a “good parent,” so to speak, first of all requires that you know yourself, you know who you are as a parent. If you are asking your child to tell you what kind of parent you should be, you have set yourself up for disaster right there. It is not correct, as many people say today that your children should be in charge.
It is perfectly true that previous generations were far too authoritarian and therefore mistreated their children. It is not true that you should jump into the opposite extreme and expect that children can bring up themselves. They cannot. There is no child ever who has been able to bring up him or herself. They need parents to give them some guidance, and this does not have to be perfect guidance. You have, first of all, to be yourself, to be true to who you are, and to define the limits of what you will accept and not accept in your home and in your personal life.
Your children, then, it is their job to adapt to this and use it constructively later in life. They may do what you did. They may follow your example, or they may go beyond your example. But if you are not in the authoritarian extreme, they will not rebel against you. The best thing that can happen is that when you know yourself, and you are open to helping your child get to know himself or herself; then there will come a point in the child’s life where you will have a mutual understanding.
You will come to respect each other as individual human beings. The children may at some point actually come to understand that the way you brought them up was not the only way, but it was your way. And since you are the parent, you have a right to bring them up your way.
As said, it is very important for good parenting that you know who you are, and you know what you will tolerate and not tolerate in this lifetime. This, of course, is something we don’t know from the outset. We may not know this fully when we become parents but it is something you can develop over time.
You need to be aware that the modern age is fundamentally different than when Mother Mary was a parent to Jesus, so long ago. Because everyone today is much more busy and has many more demands on their attention than was happening back then. You can hardly believe the difference in how peaceful life was back then in normal circumstances (where there was no war) compared to what you have today.
The stress you are under, in what you call normal life, is tremendously bigger than what people experienced 2,000 years ago, and you should be aware of this. You should cut yourself some slack, as the popular saying goes. It is an impossible task to have both parents have a job and career. You have one or several children, you are busy in your daily lives, and at the same time, you are supposed to maintain romance in your relationship. It is an impossible task. You need to start by recognizing that it is an impossible task. Then, you can adjust your expectations to yourself accordingly and not expect that you can be perfect at an impossible task.
So many parents today have been set up to think that they should be perfect. You have no particular education in being a parent. You do not even have good examples and role models. On top of that you have the busy modern lifestyle. You cannot expect perfection. From a spiritual viewpoint, perfection is not required of you. This is not making any excuse for abusing children in various ways, but the vast majority of parents in today’s world are not abusing their children. This is talking about the many people who are being normal, caring and loving parents to the best of their ability but who still feel inadequate at the task and who are often labeled that way by society, by neighbors, by various authority figures. Higher awareness would like to take all of your regret and shame concerning parenthood away from you, if you will only give it up.
It is really no service to life, or the forward progression of society, that you go around beating yourself up over not having been the perfect parent—when you never could have been the perfect parent and when you are not expected to be. You see, the child that is growing up in your presence is not a perfect human being when they come in.
One of the most dangerous and most dysfunctional aspects of modern culture is that you deny, from both science and Christianity, the reality of reincarnation. Somehow, you think that the children who come in, come in on a blank slate. Therefore, if they are brought up by you and if they end up not being able to function in society or acting out in anti-social ways, it must be your parenting that was wrong. The reality is that all children come in from previous lifetimes with various amounts of baggage: emotional, psychological wounds, various habit patterns, various ways of thinking, various attitudes to life that they themselves have developed over many lifetimes and have often reinforced.
You may think that Jesus was the perfect child, but he also came, contrary to what Christianity teaches, from many past lifetimes where he had built up a certain attitude that he knew best. Many of the children that are born today have a similar attitude. The reason for this is that, in order to make humankind progress faster, higher awareness is allowing children to come into embodiment today who have slightly more spiritual attainment than their parents.
You can look back at your own parents, most of you. If you are completely honest with yourself, you can see that you did have more spiritual attainment than your own parents. In some ways you were wiser and had a better vision than them. If you are equally honest, you can also see that you still had things to learn from your parents because you were not able to bring up yourself as a child.
Transfer this to your own children. Your children have certain things that they might be able to see more clearly than you see it, but this does not mean that they are capable of bringing up themselves. The fact is that in today’s age, higher awareness is allowing the embodiment of certain souls that are actually a little bit ahead of what is the norm according to the collective consciousness. These souls will, in most cases, be allowed to embody in families where one or both parents are open to the spiritual side of life because they have a greater chance of understanding these children.
What you also need to understand about such children is that they often, along with their higher attainment, have developed these habit patterns of thinking that they somehow know best, that they do not need to listen to anybody. They may even have a certain pride, a certain arrogance, of feeling that they don’t have to listen to anybody who is below them. They may have a tendency to think that almost anybody who doesn’t agree with them is below them. This was quite frankly the case with Jesus. What do you do with these children.
Well, you recognize, first of all, who they are and you recognize who you are. You recognize that regardless of whether they have slightly more attainment than you have, they still have baggage they are coming in with. They may have a potential to do something in life, to do something for humankind, but in order to fulfill that potential, they need to overcome the dysfunctional, self-destructive, self-limiting patterns that they have brought with them from past lives, including disrespect for other people.
Many of the children who are born or have been born within the last several decades have had this lack of respect for others. This has, quite frankly, been a cosmic experiment where higher awareness has allowed these children to embody. They did have a potential to take society forward, but they also had something to overcome before they can fulfill that potential. It is, so to speak, your opportunity as a parent to help them overcome this. But in order to help your children overcome this, you must overcome your own limitation.
You need to understand that when a certain child is assigned to a certain couple or a single parent, it is always because both have something to learn from it. It is true that your child teaches you something but is equally true that your child needs to learn something from you. The thing is, in order for you to help your child with his or her lesson, you need to find out what it is in yourself. The way to do this is to look at what is your reaction to your children’s patterns. If they act a certain way, – for example, if they will not listen, if they think they know better than you, or if they think they are somehow superior to you – how do you react to that? Do you feel inferior? Do you feel guilty? Do you feel you are not good enough? Do you immediately start questioning yourself?
If this generation of children are supposed to fulfill their potential for being in embodiment, they need to overcome their pride and their arrogance and they need to develop basic respect for other people. You do not help people by acting as if you are superior to them, even if you are superior in some ways. You are not superior in the sense that you are better than others. Knowing more than others, having certain abilities that others do not have, does not make you an inherently better person.
This is the lesson that actually Jesus, when he had overcome his own problems, attempted to teach to people, namely that all have equal value in Christ. Therefore, your potential is to teach your children that, regardless of who they are or who they think they are, they need to respect you as a human being. Of course, for you to teach your children this, you need to respect yourself. This means you need to look at yourself and say: “What are my wounds from the past?”
Many of you have grown up in a much more authoritarian society. You may have grown up in such a society for many lifetimes. The effect of such a society is to take away people’s self esteem and make them feel essentially worthless when they are not living up to the norms defined by society.
Many of your children seem arrogant because they know from within that they have worth. They have not yet learned to balance this with basic respect. You can teach them this, if you can overcome your own lack of self-worth. This is, again, what higher awareness has given so many tools for accomplishing, for learning to love yourself. Learning how to actually accept yourself as a worthy human being, who has a right to be on this planet. You have a right to live your life because you do not have to be perfect in order to be worthy to live on earth.
Look at the planet. Is it a perfect planet? Then, why do you think you have to be perfect in order to have the right to be here? You have a right to be alive. You have a right to be yourself. You have a right to learn and grow throughout your lifetime. You have a right to experiment with life. Higher awareness does not demand perfection from you, it demands nothing. Higher awareness seeks to help you do the best you can, given who you are and your outer circumstances. It is not a matter of you living up to some outer standard of perfection. It is a matter of: “Are you willing to learn? Are you willing to look at yourself? Are you willing to do better than you did before?”
This is how higher awareness looks at you, not with this outer standard where it judges you and puts you down. Therefore, higher awareness does not want you to judge yourselves, but to recognize that you are living in a crossover time between the very authoritarian society in which many of you grew up and an entirely new age.
What is one of the outcomes of an authoritarian society? It is that such a society is, first of all, striving for perfection. In striving for perfection (thinking that if it can come up with a perfect system, then perfection can be achieved) this affects how such a society looks at children. It thinks, first of all that you should be a perfect parent. If you are not, it must be a matter of discovering what the reason was. Then, they seek to come up with an infallible system where if everyone is forced to follow the system, then everybody will bring up perfect children.
This will never happen. It has never happened in the past. It will never happen in the future. In the Age of Higher Awareness, you do not need a system in order to flow with the spirit. You need openness of heart, willingness to tune in to your own higher self, willingness to look at life and observe and listen to others. You need openness. You do not need to have a system where with your outer mind you are constantly trying to force yourself into the system and, at the same time, you are trying to force your children into the system. In the Age of Higher Awareness, the children that are coming in cannot be forced into systems. But this does not mean that you let them do whatever they want. You allow yourself to be yourself and thereby, you help them be themselves.