Creating a Loving Universe for Our Children
I was brought up Jewish, in an East-Coast, very reform way.
We learned the stories of the bible as just stories written by people, stories we could learn from.
One of the characters was God. He changes and grows over time, but in the beginning, he’s kind of off his rocker.
He could come crashing down angrily and punish people who were just in the way… or be quite forgiving. You just never knew what to expect from this guy.
Over the generations, he seemed to become a little more steady and good hearted.
But to me, thankfully, none of those characterizations of God ever represented what I believed to be the creative energy of the universe – the power that I wished on every birthday cake to; the intelligently ordered world that beckoned me to go adventuring when I grew up.
To me, the universe has always had wisdom and love in it. Thanks to my mom, no matter what issues we went through, I knew love was underneath it all.
When I found yoga in my 20’s, I knew I had come home to a place that had language for this: universal Consciousness, intelligence, Shakti the goddess. God is all around us, in the intelligence of the acorn becoming an oak, in the desire of a weed to squeeze through asphalt – and even in each of us.
And eventually, when I had a child, I realized that for her, I was her god. That’s all she knew. She looked into my eyes to see what kind of a world she had entered.
So I set out to show her that she lives in a nurturing, loving universe.
My daughter didn’t cry much. She was a genuinely happy kid. But I was big into consequences so I could stay connected to her if I had to say “ok, remember what I said would happen if you throw your food again? That’s not appropriate for the table so we’ll have to go home now.”
Once, the consequence for something she did was that I would take her toy away. I did, and she cried. She cried some more. And then she did something that touched me so much.
She walked over to me and cried in my arms.
At that moment I felt I was on the right track, helping her build a good relationship with her world. Consoling her in the midst of her pain, that in a way I had caused. It’s a little Godfather-y, but that’s the point: we are all-powerful to them. And we can still love and nurture them when they are misbehaving, or being people we don’t like.
If we accept that we have this power for our children, and fully step into it, we can help them feel at ease in the world.
Yes, bad things are going to happen, and we want them to be safe. But ultimately, when we can see the world as a benevolent place, we can be courageous in our lives: we can reach out to connect; we can have big aspirations; we can trust we are right where we’re supposed to be.
When we understand the world as a place of cause and effect – the true meaning of “karma” – we can start making choices that are life-enhancing.
It’s not that I don’t show her the darkness in the world. We watch Stephen Colbert together and read stories in Time Magazine about the opioid epidemic.
I also want her to know we are free to choose what to focus on – all the negative ugliness, or what we can do to make our little corner a better place.
And when we are held in a loving container, we know we can do anything.
If I did one thing that didn’t royally screw my daughter up, it’s having a daily practice that connects me to the highest, most loving, and most powerful, and the wisest person I can be. I sit down at my little meditation table with my head spinning, and I get up feeling more like as a powerful, wise, and nurturing goddess, or “Ma.”
Stepping into my own highest Self and surrounding her in a bubble of love always takes a daily practice. No matter how enlightened we are, we don’t wake up as our highest Self. We must connect to it consciously, and a meditation or yoga practice is the most effective way I’ve found to do this.
She’s 11, and last night she said “Mom! I love you!” out of the blue. I knew that she was feeling happy and excited and safe, and it’s this world she is loving, not necessarily me.
And that’s the highest achievement in my life.
Where are you on your journey to motherhood & beyond? Tell me here and I’ll send you a free Care Package to support you right where you are.
How Being a Mom Can Help Us Become Our Highest, Ma Goddess That We Can Be