Parenting | General

QA141 QUESTION: I have recently uncovered in my image sessions, two important aspects in relationship with my daughter. One is my jealousy of her, and the other is an inflammation of my similarity. I mean that I dislike in her some aspects that I really have in my myself. Could you give me a few more hints with regard to her personality, so that my relationship with her should become truthful as much as I can help her in the right direction.

ANSWER: Now you see, as you all know now who follow this Path for some time, it becomes more and more a reality for every one of you that the unconscious communication is the most real. When this understanding comes as a half understanding and therefore a half truth, it seems frightening and guilt producing, because one then is in the threatening position to believe that your own impediments cause the impediments of the other person. The guilt will then become such a burden that it rather slows down growth, than accelerates it.

So you must always understand that every human being born here is coming into this world with problems. All problems are, in the last analysis, always self-created. They are only activated by the problematic imperfect world in which the person lives. Now, this should not and cannot, if it’s truly understood, make you irresponsible, and exonerate yourself from the responsibility of growing.

But, on the other hand, if you understand it properly, it will not burden you with a responsibility that really is not yours – namely, the growth of the other person. It is very important to understand this balance.

Now, as far as this particular relationship is concerned, in the psyche of this human being is a similar drive to triumph – although it may not show – a drive to be better, to be more lovable, to be the first. That is a very strong need in her. This strong need has put her into channels where she is a middle child, and as such, often a neglect arises out of that – that somehow attention is not focused as much, and this creates a particular frustration.

The frustration, in turn, affects your various problems and generates the feelings of, on the one hand, jealousy, where she tries to be better than you or more loved than you or anything in which you feel insecure.

But the jealousy in you – that is so much to your credit that you could disentangle it, for it does indeed camouflage that part in your psyche – says, “No, I want to be most loved.” Now, the moment you find this, you will not need it, for again, you are not in competition. This competition is as erroneous as the comparison between the accomplishment of one person, even in the same field, let alone in another field.

You all are individuals and you cannot be measured. The more you bring the best out in yourself, the more you will relieve the tension that will induce the drive and increase the compulsion to compete in that child, although often the competition may manifest in exactly opposite appearance – namely, complete resignation and giving up when the competition becomes impossible, as, of course, it is in her case.

How can she compete against a much stronger mother, against an older and more forceful brother, and against a favorite little sister? So her sense of competition becomes thwarted, and she gives up resentfully.

Now, the remedy, of course, since both sides of the conflict are destructive, is by your growing out of your problems. You do not even have to do something; it will just happen naturally. You will spread an atmosphere which might help her to comprehend deep down that there’s no need to triumph, that it is all there, and comparison is foolish.

She may not perceive this consciously but perhaps by feeling. And if it does not come, her life will certainly – especially through your and your husband’s being on this Path – be greatly helped. And one day she too will come to such a path where her problem can find a deeper, more thorough resolution.

All you can do is feel what I say, sense it, perceive it, experience it out in the open. And without having to say a word, by letting go of competition yourself and having to be the best yourself, by allowing each individual in your environment to be its own best, and therefore allowing yourself to be your own best – which will not interfere with the best of the other – by consciously experiencing this truth and thinking this truth, you will help.

 

QA142 QUESTION: I would like to ask about a little problem with my children. The little one wants to get everything immediately. She needs it, she wants it, and she demands too much. If I let the little one have her will, then the older one wants something but she doesn’t keep it hidden. Then the little one, immediately, when she sees her, she wants it too. Now, how should I handle this in a constructive way?

ANSWER: You may remember, the help you have received regarding the other children was not merely advice or character analysis about them. This, in itself, would never suffice, because it is not your knowledge or even your understanding in this respect that could really be helpful here.

What did help you was to find your own corresponding problem within yourself. And when you found that, then you could immediately handle the situation in a very different way. Is this not true? {Yes}

Now, it is the same thing here. To the extent you will find your own childish greed to have what you want and to be unwilling to give up what you want, to that extent you will see its illusory character. While you feel that emotion, you are convinced that you are harmed when you do not get instantly what you want – when you have to let go of something you want because of the circumstances or considerations that would make it expedient. In that idea that you are the loser and that you are harmed, lies an illusion.

Again, I do not ask you to forcefully do away with the illusion; that would be only compounding the illusion. But admit that you are in illusion.

When you can say, “Here I feel anxious and terrified about not getting what I want and immediately. Why do I feel this? Because I feel it is a final loss and harm if I do not get that. This is what I feel now. I have to consider the fact that this feeling may not be a reality; it may be an illusion. I would like to see the reality of the situation in this particular respect.”

When you approach yourself in all issues coming your way, admitting your illusion rather than forcing the illusion away, and wanting to see the reality of the question, you will be in an inner state of mind that you will affect your child, even while you still are in that illusion. But you accept yourself with that illusion at the moment.

You no longer believe the illusion is reality, but make room for the idea that possibly it may not be reality that you are harmed when you do not get what you want. In that state of mind, you will exude something and communicate something that will reach your child and help your child in that very problem.

I am not asking you to give up your insistence that you do not want frustration, that you deny the reality that sometimes frustration is inevitable. I do not ask you, “Be mature enough to accept occasional frustration, for only then can you come to a state when frustration is no longer necessary.” I do not ask you, because that would be again an artificiality.

I merely ask you to observe the many daily areas where you react inwardly just as your child does. You may not show it outwardly, of course, in the same way, but inwardly your reaction is very similar.

Of course, this is not merely personal, directed to you. It concerns all of you. But since you have that problem, it is a very good way to acknowledge this problem and then see your similarity with your child, because you will only be able to affect the psyche of the child when you do not request something of that child that you do not even see to its full extent in yourself.

When you admit and acknowledge and encounter yourself in that spirit of reality, then the psyche of your child will accept what you want to convey in this respect. In other words, you will be convincing, not only by what you say, but also by how you act and how you feel – even if no word is said about it – in your mere attitude of observing your child when it has its temper tantrums to get what it wants, regardless of what the consequences for others or itself may be.

 

QA159 QUESTION: I would like your advice on something to do with the development of my children, in particular my eldest daughter. I feel that there is a difficulty in her unfolding herself, in fulfilling the potential she obviously has, and I think it has to do with her relationship with me. What can I do to better this situation and help her fulfill her development?

ANSWER: Now, the only answer I can give whenever people ask about what they can do to help their loved ones – whether these be their children or their mates or their parents or other loved ones – is always bring it back to the personal problem. In other words, you will not be able to help anyone, really, in a deep and effective sense, unless you face your own problems where they need to be faced. Then everything falls into place.

Perhaps the thing I would like most urgently to point out to you here is this. Your problem at the moment is not so much dealing with hostility. You’re pretty much capable of owning up to that, although not always yet are you able to express it without acting it out. But nevertheless, you are aware of it, and it is not difficult for you to admit such hostility, at least in principle.

Where your problem lies – and this indirectly affects very much also the relationship to your daughter – is your relationship to your mother. Your greatest hesitancy is admitting the love you have for her, admitting these feelings. You build on the hate feelings, and you fight the hate feelings or nurture them, whatever the case may be.

But it is not yet the way out. The way out is admitting the love feelings. Now, although you have the love feelings for your daughter, it is nevertheless that there is a psychic connection – always between parents and children – where the child is affected by the unresolved problem in the parent.

But of course, it also is quite obvious that such effect can only exist if the problem already existed beforehand. The help that can exist is best given by resolving this problem. In other words, make room in your heart for love, where you have protected yourself and defended yourself against such love – because it seems dangerous and humiliating – by almost artificially nurturing hate. You cannot get rid of that hate unless you have the courage to admit the love, not only as an abstract but as a feeling in you. I venture to say from your side of it, this will also, among many other benefits, contribute toward helping your daughter.

QUESTION: Of course I do have a problem with her, and it is very much because I see myself in her. I see talents that I didn’t develop enough in her and I’m worried that she’s doing the same thing. I know that many of these problems I don’t want to completely face. Especially, it’s her inactivity in certain respect that reflects my own inactivity. I find that I am tied in this way – inactivity and anxiety. Now, when I am anxious, then I express hostility. Sometimes I suppress the positive feelings, and that results in inactivity. {Yes} But in periods that I do not feel much anxiety and hostility, I still cannot overcome the inactivity, and I still cannot organize my time. When I have time, I don’t use it the way I could, and this, of course, bears also on this problem with my daughter.

ANSWER: Yes. You see, this ability to organize your life is a result of accepting life as it is. The disorganization is always a reflection of not accepting it as it is, of rejecting certain aspects of it at any rate.

Now, if you accept all your feelings as they are in you, my child, then you will, of course, accept life. For one cannot accept life when one does not accept one’s self, and particularly one’s feelings.

You begin to become aware of the subtle but nevertheless distinct mechanism in you, how you deny, how you cut off your feelings, how you reject your feelings, how you do not allow them to exist. And this is again what I said in connection with previous answers, especially in the question about the irrational inner child.

In a wider sense, actually and deliberately give yourself permission to feel what you feel, without immediately having to do something about it. Whatever the feeling may be – the movement that comes in you – that you do not have to do anything about it. It does not force you to act upon it in a certain way, neither positively nor negatively.

Nor does it force you to go through certain changes or actions or obligations. But give yourself, repeatedly, permission to feel what you feel. Do not diminish these feelings. Do not aggrandize them. Do not manipulate them or file them or squeeze them in any way. Let them move in you in their natural fashion. Look at them.

Look at the movements – those soul movements, as I call them – very quietly and calmly, whatever they may be. As you learn to do this more and more, something will grow. A new strength will grow out of which you will not only understand yourself much better, but you will accept your feelings and be one with your feelings.

That is the direct key to an acceptance of life. Being disorganized is only one of many other facets or symptoms of a rejection of life, which is a result of a rejection of the self.

 

QA180 QUESTION: I have a problem with a young daughter. We lock horns because she constantly wants to show me that her way is more mature and better, her judgments have as great a value as mine do. I always try to think that it’s not out of my own conceit, but I have lived longer and know more than she does. I can’t seem to reach her and explain to her that I’m on her side.

ANSWER: Well, I would say that, in a case like this, the problem, the way it manifests between you and your daughter, you could argue and argue and argue and discuss and there will be no solution on that level, for the problem lies elsewhere between you. It lies on an unconscious interlocking of forces and of antagonisms, which exist but in a very hidden way.

Only if these are really and truly explored can the outer argument be settled, or can an understanding be reached, or can you either agree or not agree, as the case may be, and yet allow each other to be the self – yourselves. She lets you be you and you let her be her.

To begin with, I would suggest to you that you look very deeply into yourself, into your own hidden feelings of the past, not in a sense of blame and guilt but in a sense of “I want to know the truth. What could it possibly be in me that may have indirectly created an antagonism?”

Maybe there were very human and understandable emotions and reactions on your part, of impatience or of antagonism or of not wanting to deal with the whole problem, which you felt too guilty to ascertain or to acknowledge within yourself. These things must be really honestly faced and come to terms with.

Then the understanding may be derived that she may have reacted to some such thoughts in you, and that may also have then created a vicious circle between you. Only when you perceive this and truly want to dissolve this interactive vicious circle, can you then come to a different understanding. Only the understanding itself would create different emotions, different attitudes in you, which would immediately be perceived unconsciously, even by her, and the whole weight of argument would fall off. There would be peace. There would be a new climate established.

Now, what I say does not imply, by any means, that you are wrong and she is right – not at all. I do not mean this. But I mean, particularly in the light of the last lecture [Lecture #180 The Spiritual Significance of Human Relationship], that even if she is wrong, you will not be affected in the way you are. You may see that there is a wrong attitude or a hostile feeling in her, and it will momentarily affect you, of course. No one can remain unaffected by that. But it will not have the kind of effect that it has on you now.

You will very soon be able to come to terms with the situation and be free of the conflicting feelings in you, but only when you proceed to look, because you are the only person who can change. You are the only person who has the influence over yourself. You cannot really influence her. You can only influence yourself, and that prerogative must be used and put into practice if there is friction.

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