Being or Becoming?

Being or Becoming?


“The happier I have allowed myself to be, the happier my children have become.
The more I have become myself, the more they have done the same.” 
William Martin, The Parents Tao Te Ching

Should we spend our energy trying to help our children to become more competent, more disciplined, and grow into their full potential? Or should we simply let them be?

Let’s start with some fundamental truths: 

  • Children are always perfectly themselves.
    There is no amount of pushing and pulling them towards any future potential that can make them any more themselves than they already are.
  • Children are on a journey towards their full potential.
    Our kids will be different in significant ways at every epoch of their life, and these differences are what we call development.
  • Parents provide the nourishment for their children’s journey.
    We have been hired to support our kids and help scaffold their climb toward their full potential.
  • Life unfolds optimally when we are in touch with the core of our Being.
    Children feel better, function better, and mature most ease-fully when they are allowed to be where they are and be who they are. The same is true for parents.
  • So what should we help our children focus on — Being or Becoming?

    The answer, of course, is YES!

    “Follow your bliss.” – Joseph Campbell

    Let your kids imagination and heart be pulled toward what they love. Follow their direction in this regard. Provide them with opportunities to develop the tools they will need to become fully themselves. Focus, persistence, courage, love of work, and resilience will all be necessary in their long journey toward mastery and the giving of their gifts to this world . And we — the parents — must live our lives as if this is the one life we have got.

    “What will our children do in the morning if they do not see us fly?” – Rumi

    And at the same time, make sure your kids can frequently rest as themselves.

    “Just sit there right now. Don’t do a thing. Just rest. For your separation from God is the hardest work in the world.” — Hafiz

     Help your kids feel,

    “No where to get to. No one else to become. This moment, perfectly alive as itself, as me.”

    In life, there is no greater contentment than that. Sitting on the couch, my sons little hand resting in mine, breathing together in the spaciousness of Being. I could die complete — right here, right now.

    And then he is suddenly off, running towards something he loves.

    Try: At some point each day of this week, mentally note which flavor of Life you are currently involved in. Are you totally relaxed into the depths of your Being: open, light, present, and enjoying things as they are? Or are you leaning towards something you love and are engaged in some aspect of your Becoming? Or perhaps you are blessed enough to be experiencing both at the same time?!?

    Maybe you are experiencing neither of these. Are you simply lost in tasks, commitments, or relationships that no longer serve you? Maybe you feel your inner compass saying, “This piece of my life no longer serves me and my family.”

    It matters not what your experience is, only that you are in touch with it. This mindful attention to the moment sets the stage for both your Being and your Becoming to enter you and unfold gracefully.

    So I implore you: Cultivate an open, kind, and gentle attention to whatever is here!

    If you enjoyed this post, check out This Love is Our Ground and Our Sky by Jesua Love

    Sign up for the FREE Heartwise Parenting Tele-summit, where my talk on Loving Discipline will air on January 19th at 11am.

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