How Parenting Can Grow Our Spirit

Mom and baby sunflower field

You’re out quickly shopping for groceries after work to make a healthy dinner for the family. You pick up your child to join you. They begin to have a major meltdown right there in the store. Every eye is judging you. You start to feel the heat of embarrassment rise on your cheeks.

Sound familiar? It’s in this moment, we have to make a decision.

Do I accept my child for who they are in this very moment or do I control and attempt to change my child?

“The more conscious your mind, the more conscious your actions.”

Psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabury.

When we are unconscious, it is our ego that determines our behavior and controls our choices. The ego is what we have been unconsciously taught to satisfy, satisfy, satisfy. The lack of education surrounding ego has lead us away from spiritual growth, awareness, and consciousness.

So What Exactly is Ego?

It is simply our self-concept. It is our sense of self-esteem and self-importance which began early in childhood. It is what makes us question am I loved? Am I whole? Am I worthy? Do I even matter?

Dr. Shefali Tsabury explains in The Conscious Parent, how the relationship between parent and child calls our egos to attention. We unknowingly enter into this journey of parenthood believing our children will fulfill an idealized version of ourselves.

We say things like, “that is MY child, they BELONG to me.” We try to create mini-me’s and want our kids to represent the very best part of ourselves. Every time they do, we applaud them for it, but when they fall short is when our ego becomes triggered.

Traditionally we are taught the parent governs. While yes, we are in charge of our children meaning we must use that role in order to keep them safe and to provide. However, to see our children as they are we have to release the idea of hierarchy and superiority. The need to control. This is the old and false belief of our egos.

Yes, I can already hear what you’re thinking. “Well if I don’t control my child they will act wild and chaotic! They will embarrass me!”

Unconsciously, we are projecting how we think people view us as individuals onto our children. The ego is insecure and wants everything to be grand and idealized, so we want our children to be the greatest manifestation of ourselves.

It is exhausting being a parent. Constantly managing the perceptions of those in our lives and showing parts of us we believe are “good” and attempting to hide the parts of ourselves we see as “bad”. All of us are constantly striving to reach consciousness, believe me, myself included.

Only since having my son have I began this journey of conscious thinking. My whole life changed when I understood that everyone is doing the best they can with their current level of consciousness.

Inner Ego Work

I’ve never felt so unorganized and distracted with my thoughts until I started my ego work. Every opportunity that arises where I feel triggered, instantly defensive, or in a need to control, I look within my self and ask what is reflecting back to me from my childhood? What do I believe about myself in this moment?

I have to do the painful and hard work to accept there is an inner problem within myself.

A fragile ego believes everything is personal. So, how exactly do we begin to combat our egos, you ask? By entering our own deeper selves. Begin the practice of observing your thoughts. What is your mind telling you about yourself? This is simply the internalized voices of the people closest to you in your childhood and not your truth. Knowing, accepting, and befriending your ego is spiritual freedom.

Parenting gives us the opportunity for great spiritual growth when we become truly honest with ourselves. Not to manage or control, but to love and fully honor our children as they come into this world. Dr. Shefali explains how this is our sacred responsibility in her interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday.

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