When I first decided that I wanted to get intentional about nurturing my boys’ spirituality, one of my greatest concerns was that I wasn’t up to the job because I wasn’t “spiritual enough” myself. What would I teach them? How would I go about it? I had a lot of questions and not many answers. Perhaps you’ve felt this way yourself about spiritual parenting, either now or in the past?
WHY I THOUGHT I WASN’T SPIRITUAL ENOUGH
When people hear the word spirituality, I think one of two stereotypes typically spring to mind – either religion or a more “new age” spirituality, characterised by such things as energy healing, crystals and meditation. But neither of these approaches were a part of my own spirituality when I first started thinking about spiritual parenting.
As a young girl, I had been quite fascinated by religion, wanting to find comfort in it as my grandmothers seemed to find in their Christianity. But I didn’t have positive experiences with religion and, as an adult, I concluded that it separated me from my spirituality more than it connected me to it.
I also had no special intuitive abilities and was quite sceptical about whether crystals, as beautiful as they were, could have any kind of power. I hadn’t tried meditation even once before my boys were born.
I knew better than to reduce spirituality to two stereotypes but, as a mother, I kind of wished I had found a tradition to follow because it would’ve provided me a curriculum of sorts to help me when it came to teaching my boys. Also, I would likely have been involved in a community of like-minded people who could help me in the task. Without these things, I didn’t know where to start.
I also felt that my life up until parenthood wasn’t a great example of faith and love. Who was I to teach someone else about spirit-centred living? My spirituality had been little more than a background niggle for most of my life and I’d spent the majority of my 30-something years floundering in fear. My past was full of messy bits which certainly did not provide the kind of model I wanted to give my boys.
FINDING MY WAY
I’ve kept a journal since I was an earnest, anxious 14 year-old. Writing has always been my way of making sense of things. So to figure out how to nurture my boys’ spirituality, I started writing this blog. Taking the time to write regularly on the subject of spiritual parenting helped me to become deliberate about my own spirituality as well as my boys’. As I wrote, I realised that the essence of my spirituality and the power of my parenting wasn’t in the shape of my particular beliefs & practices, or in a perfect past, but in my willingness to be on the journey alongside my boys.
Having set the intention to give my boys spiritual guidance, my heart began to expand towards all things of a spiritual nature. The Universe replied by gifting me some beautiful experiences which have helped me to see that anything and everything has spiritual significance if we’re willing to see it. I was deeply moved when a friend shared the aliveness of her Christian faith with me and I saw that religion can be a path to sincere connection. Another supportive friend gave me crystals to help me in my spiritual parenting work – they’re here on my desk as I write. I have received deep encouragement through my first experiences of intuitive readings, given by my hairdresser who has the ability to see things I don’t. I’m feeling the pull of meditation more and more these days, too. There are opportunities everywhere to experience my own spirituality and to help my boys tune into theirs’ – Life is our curriculum.
And, as for my past, the messy bits have become pointers towards the truth. Looking back on them without judgement, I can see that they were the lessons I needed to learn. Those difficult experiences have provided contrast, showing me what I don’t want so I can focus on what I do want to create in my life instead – essentially, more Love. Rather than avoiding the messy bits in my history, I can use all that I have learned to help me in life and in parenting.
So it seems my spirituality is in my open heart – my sense of connection to that magnificence that is both within & beyond me, my willingness to let Life teach me, my growing capacity to truly love another, and my ability to have faith where logic does not reach. These are the things I think we all have the capacity to pass on to our children and whether we do so in the context of a religion, a “new age” practice or something else, is not important.
“Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.” ― Eckhart Tolle
I share my journey here to encourage you that you are up to the job.
The truth is that we are all spiritual beings so it goes without saying that we’re all “spiritual enough” to provide our children with spiritual guidance. Just the decision to connect with that Divine part of ourselves and of our children is enough. Once I committed to my boys’ spirituality and used the tool that came naturally to me (writing), I saw the opportunities all around me to “nurture their souls”. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a tradition to follow or a history of solid connection myself.
We don’t need to tell our children what to believe or what to do. We just need to show them that they can choose to connect and encourage them to find their own ways of doing so. My blog post Why We Can’t Pass Our Spirituality Onto Our Children may be a useful read from here.
Much love to you and your little souls,
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