This blog is about Parenting Gone Unquestioned. I work to help parents (and others) learn to question things in life that typically go unquestioned. Until we learn to question everything, nothing new under the sun can take place. One avenue I thought we could use as an example for questioning in this post is social media.
Social media is a great place to see the recycling of old ideas and beliefs. I can’t tell you how many times something in me wanted to “automatically” like a post without really considering the content, because if one were to actually take time to sit with and feel the content of what they were reading, they just might find that the post perpetuated old recycled ideas and beliefs.
To be a warrior in this world means to do what is right no matter what. The only way to bring something new into this world is to BE the change that you wish to see and to be free to do that no matter what. “Liking” a post that perpetuates old recycled ideas and beliefs keeps the world grounded in those very ideas. We can certainly enjoy social media, but we must be aware of old parts of us at work when we are engaging in that activity.
I can see the challenge with this in my own life. We all have family and friends, right? To do what is right no matter what, includes the risk that your family and friends might get angry with you when you don’t support something that they really want you to support, whether it be a social media post, a cause they are fighting for, or simply in a conversation.
Recently, I came across a post on social media (a directive from a parent to a child) that said: “If I’m on your “tail” about doing better, it is because I see more in you than you do yourself.” At the initial glance of those words, there was an automatic “Yeah, I like that” that came up in me.
However, let us take a moment to question the content of this post as a way to start investigating the truth contained in it:
· Is the meaning (the content) of that post something old and recycled or something new and true?
· Does what is good (Love) get on a child’s tail or any other human being for that matter?
· Does getting on a child’s tail help the child or does it cement a belief inside them that they aren’t good enough as they are?
· Who and what is doing the measuring that is determining the child as falling short?
We could investigate it a little further and dig a little deeper here too. When a parent gets on a child’s tail, is it truly about the parent wanting the child to do better? In one respect, yes of course, because all parents want the best for their child. However, the question we could ask ourselves here is “Could there be a deep-seated belief beneath that action and desire to get on a child’s tail?”
What if underneath the desire to be on a child’s tail about doing better, lay a fear in the parent that the child won’t, in fact, do better, because if my child doesn’t do better, “I” (the parent) will feel horrible, be embarrassed, ashamed, whatever the case may be. I need you (the child) to do better, so that I (the parent) will feel better. So is that action really about the child or is it about the parent? These are the questions that we want to ask. Most of our life is self-serving, but we just don’t see it because we don’t want to see it, but we need to see it.
Fear rides others. Fear pushes others. Fear measures. Fear judges. Fear lives in the past.
Gentle encouragement is something we can always give our child, as well as a space of non-intrusive understanding. What if a parent understood that the very belief
they were holding onto in their need to be on their child’s tail, is the very thing that is keeping their child from actuating their potential? Any form of demand is based in resistance, and what you resist persists. Newton’s law states “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That’s something good to contemplate here, for our child and for ourselves.
We have to have a first, and Love should always be our first. Love doesn’t ride others. Love doesn’t push others. Love doesn’t measure. Love doesn’t judge. Love isn’t old, it is ever-present and new.
Exercise for the Week: Be watchful this week for old patterns of wanting to get on your child’s tail because you believe they should be doing something better. Take it a step further and see if you can catch yourself getting on your own tail for not doing better. Immediately drop the pattern, come back to the present moment and work to stay there.