About Your Worry About Giving Your Children Enough Religion or Spirituality

October 11, 2010

You already have a fully formed belief system. You already are a whole person with an increasing sense of your connectedness to the core of who you are, to the same of others as well as to the One Who made you. As for the peace we come to feel from something greater than ourselves, inwardly, you  know you are part of that. At the risk of sounding something like a Hallmark card at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning, . . . you already are part of the loving, brilliant, noble and compassionate whole in which we all exist.

Our shortfall, probably because of striving, fear, clinging or delusion, is that we forget. We are distracted by our own and the suffering of others so we forget our connectedness and purpose of compassion.

But your very existence, in all that you are and all that you teach to your children, your spouse and friends, is your gift. Your love and wisdom, as it continually evolves and grows to embrace others, is the “true spirituality” that contrasts so remarkably with the institutional and organized religion that most people have come to think as their religion. “Kindness is my religion” says the Dali Lama.

It’s simple, when we think and read about it for a number of years, but it easily eludes us on a daily basis. We’re confused by our own ambitions, fears and longings. We are absolutely hoodwinked (if that word is still in use) by our own delusions of “success” and “security.” It is unfortunate that we have to find ourselves in ‘near death experiences,’ in ‘fox holes’ or washed up on the shore, barely alive from excruciatingly significant emotional experiences. It is sad that before we are able to be truly present in the moment, we first must learn (and relearn) to present with ourselves – who we really are. Almost like the inattention of a toddler, we forget what we’ve learned and how noble we actually are.

We forget how to let things go and embrace ourselves and others with compassion. We can have compassion and give unconditional acceptance for a child or a hurting adult but sadly, not for ourselves. It’s somewhat pathetic that we can spend a lifetime of mindful philosophical inquiry and study and yet forget the lives, teachings and personal responses to the spiritual leaders of the very religion to which we ascribe. How quickly we have a brain freeze about the essentials of how our core being is to be in relation to others.

We also seem to be blind to how many leaders of organized religion have contorted their theology to portray a punitive god who relates to creation with an “are you good enough” check list. Our blind acceptance of this dominating, caustic and judgmental religion is  baffling. Incredibly, we pay attention to foolish, narcissistic and self-absorbed political leaders who think they have magically purchased intelligence through their own aggression.

There is a never-ending list of insight to unfold in our lives that makes for an infinite number of pigments on the canvas of our lives. Life’s meaning has endless artistic renderings of beauty and redemption. Life is embodied with meaningful themes and scenes that contain compassion and connectedness. Life’s patterns yield learnings that recognize universal suffering and yet healing and unconditional love. Living among other thinking and compassionate beings causes us to learn and respond. It is in the rhythm, cadence and creative flow of our human experience that we encounter wisdom and love.

We learn. We discover that in all of our connectedness, we find we are not truly alone but blessed with a brilliant presence of meaning in ourselves and others that nurtures each of us.

You’ve already passed on to your children all that you have come to learn and value through all of your life’s experiences. It’s now in their hearts and their DNA. They certainly know and perceive your values. You don’t have to worry. The good and what they deem as truly good —  they’ll keep. The views and teachings,that are less wise and helpful —  they’ll discard. They don’t need you to tell them what doesn’t really work. If they are questioning, they will ask you or someone else they have come to trust.

This is true of your children and everyone who has been a child throughout history. It isn’t up to you. It’s up to each of us, in the context of our life’s interactions, to find our own meaning. We can’t and shouldn’t pretend that we can control the flow of what we think is of value.

So genuinely pause and trust the brilliance, the creativity and the wisdom that your children already possess. Trust what is already within you. Trust what is within all those with whom your children interact. Know, in faith, that in us there is the Spirit of Wisdom and Compassion that leads us all to the spiritual expression in which we find ample meaning.

You already have enough. You are enough. Your children already have enough. Instead of worrying, celebrate that there is a Life-Presence that has been with you and your children forever. You don’t have to worry. It is what allows each of us to stop and dance with a child on the sidewalk in the midst of our walk. It is what causes us to create stories about archangels and light forms from another galaxy. It is what enables you and I and our children to bring new things to life that have before, been unimaginable. And this Presence can’t be corrupted by ignorance, hatred, intolerance or raging fear. “Bidden or unbidden, God is present” said the sign over the front door of Carl Young’s home.

Instead, it is the Life-Presence which can bring love, joy, creativity and compassion in any moment. Nobody can take cause it not to exist and nobody can take it away from you. No one can take this Presence from our children.

Like all of us, they’ll often become distracted from the Presence of each moment but they’ll never lose it. What each of us have, already, is enough. You and they will come to joy and understanding.

So we can stop striving for something that is already in our possession. Our children have what they need. Celebrate the Presence. It is enough.

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