It’s been quiet on this blog because much of my “writing energy” lately has been channeled into books–working on my own, and editing others’ on a freelance basis. (You’d never guess from my blog topics that I have a Journalism degree, eh? I’ve also spent lots of time in literature classes and writing workshops.)
It’s taken me this long to realise that instead of having dead silence on this blog, I can post excerpts. The book in progress, called Creating from Center, is a compilation of personal experiences and the spiritual lessons learned from heartbreak, health challenges (including insomnia, allergies, and Graves’), an “unmothered” childhood of academic pressure and disconnection, dealing with narcissists, and my eventual shifting from a mind-and ego-centered life to a heart-centered one.
My artistic abilities were the heart of a lot of my early challenges–one’s self-worth can get pretty distorted when the thing one enjoys most (and does well) is seen as useless and unproductive by closest loved ones. I’m still at the beginning of the book but I will cover just how I started retrieving pieces of myself, my inner child, my shadow, and my past-life abilities–all leading to a life now that I love, am excited about, and that I know is important. The me of six years ago would look at the me now in bewilderment.
Anyway, here goes. I’ll choose excerpts on texts that sit well on their own.
A Quick Note on Acceptance, Children, their Emotions and their Choices
My child knows that it’s OK to feel sad, and she’s not shy about this! She identifies the emotion when reading or watching stories, or when accepting that she can’t get something she wants. She knows the feeling passes; she mopes and asks sometimes for space and time to do this. She’s become more self-confident in her feelings and wants—because I respect them as valid, even though her requests for toys can’t always be fulfilled. I encourage her to be proactive in working her wants out on her own, as she grows older.
Dealing with anger has been trickier. Sensitive children can be quick to anger when others around them don’t have the same level of sensitivity—I was like this! I acknowledge my daughter’s anger as much as I can while trying to guide her to express it in ways that are still respectful to others.
This is vastly different from how I was brought up; Anger was an emotion only allowed authority figures, not children! Crying children were told to be quiet. Children’s careers were chosen by parents–and they had better be lucrative. It’s very much part of Asian culture to see parents as always knowing better, and being above reproach and questioning. It may have worked for Chinese culture (or just their figures of authority) thousands of years ago, but in this day and age when technology and societal rules are changing fast, this outdated and limiting construct needs to go.
Children do this with their parents: They’ll naturally want to do things that have not been in their parents’ experience. It’s a fact of life we need to accept—industries, jobs, and technology are evolving. Our children may well occupy roles in future that did not exist “in our time”—to thwart their natural instincts towards what they want to do may be a huge disservice to them.
Instead of assuming that we’ll always have intellectual superiority over our children, we should be raising them to be smarter than us in the future. And that includes developing their emotional and intuitive smarts, so that they are more likely to succeed whatever their chosen field.
If we teach children to ignore and suppress their natural emotions and feelings, we’ll likely get children who don’t know how to feel or how to work with their emotions. And if we keep believing that our children will fail and face grinding poverty just because they may follow different paths from the ones we’ve known, our children could do the worse thing.
They may start believing our fears.
Comments, as always, are welcome.