raise (v.) c. 1200, "cause a rising of; lift upright, set upright; build, construct," from a Scandinavian source, such as Old Norse reisa "to raise," from Proto-Germanic*raizjan (source also of Gothic ur-raisjan, Old English ræran "to rear;" Meaning "make higher" is from c. 1300 in the physical sense, as is that of "restore to life."
There are many topics related to raising children with awareness… introducing them to crystals, meditation, healthy lifestyles, compassion, astronomy to name a few. These can easily be integrated throughout the child’s life starting at an early age… but what about those of us that have raised children prior to our own personal spiritual awakening?
As we change, should they change?
As a single mother at the age of 19 in a new culture, I was not fearful, I was excited. I was far from my first home, the Philippines, but my childhood allowed me to be an independent, strong-willed and shoot-for-the-stars type of person. Although I cannot recall most of my past due to a head-on motorcycle collision at the age of 16, I remember the emotions and drive that was instilled in me. I was taught to be passionate but not what to be passionate about.
Fast forward 10 years later, I had my second son. I was in my second marriage at the time, which has now become my second divorce. Although the situations of raising my children were significantly different, the methodology and process was similar. The main difference of raising my two children is the support you have from a partner. Although it is not necessary, it is invaluable. No matter what the changes were that occurred in my life, which are inevitable, the one thing that was constant was me.
I AM the ever-changing constant.
Throughout our lives, our environment changes, our desires and passions change, who we surround ourselves with change and our responsibilities change. As the external factors change, our internal factors change as well. These are our fears, our intentions, our strengths and our challenges. There is a melding of constant change between the outer world, everything outside of us, and our inner world, all that is within your thoughts, your heart, your spirit.
External factors cause internal changes, causing external changes.
On Christmas Eve in 2013, I arrived home to find Patches, one of our Australian shepherds, missing her front right leg. After many hours looking for signs of an attack, intrusion, an accident or any clues that could lead us to what happened, we found nothing. A trip to the emergency vet that night and surgery the next day, she survived that incident with flying colors and became the sweetest most-loyal 3-legged- bestie. (Below is a video of her a few days after surgery) She has since left this plane but continue to guide us in spirit. The day of her death was the birth of yet another beginning for me. It was her final lesson and I am eternally grateful.
This unexplained incident led me to question many things until I was questioning everything. I began meditating and within a few days, experienced a spiritual awakening
so intense that almost overnight, my lifestyle had changed.I not only saw through the
thinning veil of illusions and distractions in this matrix of a reality, I went beyond the veil and experienced true reality. Things I have seen my entire life, I was seeing again for the first time. I was not only hearing, I began listening. I was no longer the receiver, I became the transmitter.
I started becoming myself instead of becoming what had become of me.
I no longer craved certain foods, certain people, certain things and certain experiences. I turned off the television and started reading again. Knowledge was my drug. I craved it with a passion. I had taken a major turn on my life path and I was not taking a stroll in the park, I headed down that road in a full-on sprint with no clue where the finish line was. Little did I know, there was no finish line.
That was over two years ago. I have since stopped eating meat and am on my way to a full Vegan lifestyle. No more down pillows, leather jackets, roasted pigs or cruelty-based products. I spend my time with people that uplift, teach, inspire or create… and when they are not available, I prefer solitude.
All of these changes occurring internally were visible externally in the way I acted, the things I participated in, the people I surrounded myself with and the words I spoke (or didn’t speak). The groceries I purchased, the products I supported, the services I provided and the influence I allowed into my life were carefully and mindfully chosen. It took several missed-takes to realize that when unpleasant experiences repeat themselves in many different forms or vessels, it was because I had yet to learn the lesson in this lifetime that my spirit intended for me to grow from.
“…my spirit intended for me to grow from.”
In the beginning, there was nothing more that I wanted than for my sons to eat what I ate, to support my beliefs, to believe what I know and to live how I did. It did not take long to realize that my ego is what was driving those desires. I am raising people, not building clones. They are here to be them, not to be me.
I am not my children’s light. I am their lighthouse.
The reason they are they way they are is because that is how they were raised. Just because you start down one path does not mean you cannot make a U-turn at any point. All of my experiences thus far were part of my journey, one my spirit intended for me, not for my children. What was my role now that my life had taken a major change?
I took it as my personal challenge to be the change for them. We may not all be parents, but we were all children. We followed by example, so we should lead by them.
Judge not, especially your own.