"Behind every young child who believes in himself, is a parent who believed first" - Matthew L. Jacobson
This week on my IC show, I had a lovely conversation with Danny Cobbin. In addition to being a father to two teenagers, he is also a father to two-year-old twins. Having come across the Principles within the last year, I asked him how the Understanding had impacted his parenting.
Danny describes the difference between raising his teens and his twins as night and day. He also expressed how grateful he is that he came across the Understanding when he did. Although Danny's relationship with his sixteen-year-old daughter had always been good, it has improved exponentially since coming across the Principles. He said that when his daughter would visit him in the past, he would tell her what to do and what books she ought to be reading. These days he is a lot more present with her. He cherishes the time they share, and their conversations have deepened. Instead of telling her what she should be doing with her life, Danny now encourages her to listen to her wisdom and let that be her guide.
As a mother to two beautiful young men, now aged twenty-three and twenty-seven, I think back to how my parenting has also changed over the years since coming across the Principles. In the past, when I saw my children struggling, I would offer them my unsolicited advice thinking that I was being helpful. I realize now that when we are under the mistaken illusion that we know what's best for them, albeit innocently, it is a form of arrogance and disrespect. We are saying that our wisdom is better than theirs. When we do this, we are teaching them to not trust their inner wisdom. We teach them to value other people's opinions on what is best for them above their own. We teach them to look outside of themselves for the answers when they already have everything they need within them.
I know first-hand how damaging this type of parenting can be. After years of being raised by a mother who thought she knew what was best for me, even after becoming an adult, I found it very difficult to hear my inner wisdom. As a young child, when I shared with her that something had happened to me that didn't feel right to me, she shushed me away and told me that I imagined it. When I told her that I was scared of the mentally disabled people that lived with us, she told me I had nothing to be scared of. When I told her that I didn't feel loved by my father because he never acknowledged me, she told me that I was wrong and that he did love us; he just couldn't be with us.
I know my Mother’s actions were innocent. She thought she was doing what was best for me. But after years of being told that my feelings were not to be trusted and what I was seeing was not happening, I learned to disassociate from my wisdom and intuition. Someone was not telling the truth, and as a young child, it was easier for me to blame myself instead of my Mother. As children, we depend on the adults in our lives to take care of us. There's nothing worse than the realization that they might not be reliable, so I went into denial, stopped listening to my wisdom, and instead chose to believe that my Mother knew best. From that moment forth, my internal chatter was full of my Mother's “musts, shoulds and oughts.”
Unfortunately, this self-doubt and lack of trust in myself carried into my adult life. That was until I came across the 3 Principles. It wasn't an overnight transformation. In fact, it took quite a while. But slowly and surely, I learned that I didn't need to pay attention to the thoughts inside my head. Once I paid less attention to them, my mind quieted down, and I began to hear my inner wisdom. It had a calm indisputable quality to it. Very different from the agitated sound of my internal chatter. It came from somewhere deep within me. The more I listened to it, the more I learned to trust its guidance.
This has been one of the greatest blessings I have received from this Understanding—the gift of being reunited with my wisdom. As a parent, I believe this is one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children—the gift of knowing that they can trust themselves and their wisdom. I am not saying that we should not guide our children when they are young and looking to us for guidance. I am saying that part of that guidance is pointing them back home to who they are at their essence, which is perfect, whole, and complete. Nothing broken, nothing lacking, with everything they are looking for already within them.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕