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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Importance of Balance and Compassion

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We should all know our place in the world. Poised perfectly between the spiritual and the mundane. The world of humans and the animal world. Yet many of us have forgotten this. We have forgotten that we are all connected. That which we feed on will eventually feed on us.

Yet this does not only apply in the world around you this also applies to the world within yourself. Yin and Yang, the light balanced against the dark. Children are usually balanced from birth; it is only life itself that throws the human soul off balance.

The forgotten role of parents is to help to prevent this. In encouraging openness and teaching good communication skills, we help to prevent children from growing up with baggage. Too many parents abuse their children, whether verbally or physically, or try very hard to keep children in their "place".
I'm sure we could regale each other for hours about the trials of childhood and the baggage that we either carry or have carried. Trials and tribulations are important, for as Buddhism teaches, "suffering brings enlightenment", but parents seem to outdo themselves in providing suffering. Not that my childhood was particularly bad but I still see it in the world around me. Broken homes and adults that have no social skills. The rapid increase of mental illness and the rise in violent crime.

Don't believe me? Then take a week and just listen to the people around you. Observe them and feel their pain and hear their stories. So often in my life I have been pushed into the role of counsellor so I know the pain that is around me.
Yet we as Pagans have the ability to overcome this in our own lives and then to teach it to our children. Not all of us can be counsellors and healers of the world around us but we can first focus on our own lives and the lives of our children. Is that not our job as parents? And as Pagans we should accept responsibility for ourselves, should we not?

So now that you have read this, go to your children and spend some time with them. Let them know that you love them and when they talk to you listen to them. Really really listen, they have great stories and important things to tell you. Don't shush them when you don't have to, you have other jobs as a parents, such as paying bills but if you are just watching your favorite TV show, then don't shush them, stop what you are doing and listen to them. When they are grown you will regret the missed opportunities.

Just remember to not blame yourself if they don't turn out perfect. You don't have the only input on them and their growth and in the end they will choose their own destiny. But spend time with them in the meantime, it does a child good. Sorry, I know bad pun. Go down to their level and help them to rise and grow above themselves.

While you are there talking to them, tell them how we are all connected, one to another. Human to Human, Human to animal and so on. If they are old enough to understand, then talk to them of Carl Jung and the universal consciousness; if they are younger speak to them simply about how each animal no matter how small or how large is equal in importance in the grand scheme of things.
This is just as important as inner balance. For what good is it to be balanced within but damage the world around us? We must have both to truly balanced. Balanced within and without, both sides in perfect harmony. Seen and unseen against each other. Yin and Yang.

Blessed Be!

This post is a continuation in my series on Raising a Child in the Old Ways. I recommend checking out the rest of the articles.

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