Being a parent is not easy. I’m not talking about dealing with teething infants, or a toddler’s temper tantrums, or a teenager’s mood swings. I’m not even talking about having to cook meals, assist with the homework, or work two jobs to be able to support your family. While all this is outstanding and important, none of it is the real job of being a parent.
The true goal of parenthood will always be to raise happy, peaceful wide awake children, and this is one of our most important tasks in this planet.
How can we accomplish this, however, in today’s chaotic world? Especially when everywhere, at every turn, there is a new crisis brewing? Poverty, unemployment, violence, radical terrorists, political unrest, any way you slice it, it’s an uncertain reality, and the problem with uncertainty is that it easily turns into fear, which will always lead to unhappiness and inner turmoil.
There is hope, nonetheless. In fact, I’ve never been more hopeful in my whole life. I have seen too many children from across the globe confess how much they enjoyed my workshops and that they loved learning how to bring more happiness and peacefulness into their lives. So, now more than ever, children are eager to know who they are and where they fit in today’s world.
They desperately want to live beyond illusions. In other words, they are eager to learn how to live. Let us remember, though, that they don’t listen to us. Instead, they observe us. We have to teach them with our example. We have to become happy parents.
As fathers and mothers, it’s tempting to wish to outfit our kids for the battle we think they need to face. We tell them life is hard, buckle down, be serious, eat your vegetables, brush your teeth, and of course, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”
We think we are preparing them for the big bad world, but the truth is that the world is not so bad. Our beliefs, opinions and judgments make it appear challenging and overwhelming, even scary, but the world is perfectly fine the way it is. Yes, I know that there is evidence that points to the contrary and I know millions of people will happily do the pointing, but that’s only if we’re looking at life from the limited perspective of our minds, our ego, or the way other people live.
If we wake up and take stock of who we are, we would see that everything is as it should be. It is from this viewpoint that we must teach our children how to live.
Do you want to raise a happy, peaceful and wide awake child? You must first become happy, peaceful and be wide awake yourself.
You could start by showing the young ones the perfection inside of them and the beauty in each moment, so they can start noticing more and more the perfection that is out there.
You could help disarm your kids from the fights that others are waging and to show them instead how to seek the inner equanimity that is always present within us.
You can help your youngsters unlearn the things that society tells them they should focus on and believe in, and instead teach them to only seek and follow the guidance that comes from their heart. Teach them to become more self-aware of their natural strengths and abilities.
Pay attention to them. Listen to them. Support their dreams and passions.
Above all, you can help your children stare at life squarely in the eye and give it thanks. This cultivation of divine gratitude will let them appreciate whatever that comes their way, not just today but forever.
This gratitude is what will help them live as if every moment and experience has something to teach, empower and liberate them.
Our mission as parents is not to ignore all the suffering or chaos in the world, but to transcend it. Our job is to help them awaken to who they are, which is the only way we can help them achieve happy and peaceful lives. For this reason we need to realize we are each one hundred percent responsible for what we create and attract into our lives. If we want something to change, then we should change ourselves.
Fortunately, peacefulness lives inside us. No matter what happens in the world around us, we should always begin each day with the simple truth that “peace begins with me.”
Love your children. Enjoy them. Allow them to be who they were meant to be.
Remember: What we give to our children is exactly what we give to ourselves.
Let us all awaken together. Let us be ourselves, trust ourselves, and love ourselves, so that we can love and accept others just the way they are.
Originally published at medium.com