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On Guilt Raising Children

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of May 22, 2006

these questions were based on the article
"The Formulas of Human Consciousness: Part One"

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by Jennifer F.]
  • How do you leave a two year old and minimize his suffering?
  • How do you prioritize between being a mother and healthcare practitioner. Which is more important?
  • Can a mother ease her fear of a second childbirth?

Do you know?

[Question 1] How do I help Jack to understand when I drop him off at daycare that I will return very soon? If he has no way of understanding time as a continuum, how can I ease his suffering about the disconnection of our parting?
Keep breathing, Jen, and try to hear my whole answer.

You probably can't ease his suffering. Anymore than you have already been doing, that is. And while it is very important that you continue to be there for your son in every way you can, you would probably do better to remember that your own suffering affects him too.

My point? The best way to help your son right now would be to work on easing your own suffering. How can you best do this? By remembering that while an almost three year old cannot anticipate your return, his suffering ends the minute he connects to anyone else. Moreover, his memory of separating from you ends the minute he sees you again. Unlike your memory of you separating from him which is obviously still in play even as we speak.

What I'm saying is, yes, it is true, your son has no way to access the historical knowledge that you have always come to him back and always will. And yes, not knowing this means he will, at times, suffer intensely in those moments wherein you two disconnect. However, his inability to process more than one moment of time at a time means, [1] he need only have someone get him to connect to them for him to forget all about his discomfort, and [2] whatever discomfort he does feel in your leaving will be forgotten the minute you return.

In truth, the only thing you need to be cautious about is making too big a deal of his discomfort.

So what can you do to ease your suffering in those disconnect moments? You can start by picturing how Jack looks at you each time you return to him. And how he is never broken and always laughs again. My point. Jen, you are a great mother. And Jack is lucky to have you. Now use your sense of chronological time and picture how these disconnects turn out. Even if Jack throws a heck of a fit, neither you nor Jack ever break. And you both always reconnect fine. Stop worrying.

[Question 2] Can raising children be of lesser or greater importance than my contribution as a healthcare practitioner? Is one more measurable than the other and can one be construed as a greater contribution to humanity?
Both are valuable and in fact, quite interrelated. In fact, the article you have read on the Formulas of Consciousness is in part a way to know this. And while this proof is a bit complicated, to see it merely requires you plug into the basic formula a few representative events. Thus, if you plug in what you know (the Information) about how you have helped people to heal, and about how long you have been studying and practicing this healing (the Time), you will see how the Meaning of this work is very deep.

Now if you do the same with mothering Jack; meaning, if you plug in what you know (the Information) about how you have helped your son to learn and grow, and also how long you have been studying and practicing this (the Time), you will see how the Meaning of this "work" is also very deep.

Both life courses are deeply meaningful to you. Fortunately, you are a very deep woman and can handle this depth. As for how to divide your time, here is where each and every parent needs to become more conscious. You see, focusing entirely on parenting means you doom your children to a horrible debt which will fall due when they have their own children and feel guilty whenever they feel the urge to take time for themselves. Similarly, focusing entirely on your career as a healer means you doom your children to a horrible debt which will make them feel guilty whenever they cannot help someone, even in times wherein their children need them.

Like all things, Jen, balance is the key. And learning that the pain of disconnects is normal and a healthy part of life. Have the courage to face this and you will have a very full and rewarding life. And be a great example to your children.

[Question 3] I know, staying conscious of where I am in the Layers (of the onion) when I'm feeling the needs of both myself and my child and the needs of my boss is the key to the harmony of it all. What are the most important layers to focus on since I still cannot see them all at once?
[Answer] The one you are currently in is the always most important.

Seeing the one you just came from is second in importance. This helps you to see where you are headed.

Choosing the one you want to be in next is third in importance. This makes you a conscious co-creator of your own life. And greatly influences those around you, including your children.

[Question 4] I cannot picture being able to care for two children at one time without losing my connection them and to myself. I have been at times wanted to be 100 percent there for Jack with nothing left for anyone else. How can I dilute this love affair?
[Answer] By knowing that the more you make any one person your world, the more you mis-educate that person. Especially children. But also including husband's and bosses. What mis-education am I referring to? The dependencies created by the lack of disconnects. And by the expectation of the lack of disconnects.

Said in other words, Jen, you will be harming your children and yourself if you focus entirely on one child. Learn to endure Jack's protests now and you will better prepare him for the world.

[Question 5] I am not reluctant to ask you questions. What I am reluctant to ask is (a), a poor question or (b), a question that does not make you proud that I am your student. In other words, I am reluctant to disappoint you.
[Answer] Well, at the risk of making you feel patronized, let me say, you just did that one fairly well <grin>. What I mean is, you just did a heck of a good job at seeing through to the feelings beneath your struggle.

Now what? Take your words, as they are, and look for what you can and cannot picture. For instance, can you picture disappointing a teacher? Can you picture being disappointed? Can you picture asking a good questions? Can you picture asking a poor question?

Some where within these simply scenes is a BLock or two. Knowing you, you'll have this over with in a heart beat the minute you put your mind to it. Just remember to not do it alone though. In fact, you might try to remember that one of the times I am most proud of you is when you ask for help.

[Question 6] Very often there is a struggle between the two camps of mothers, the mothers who work, and mothers who stay home with the children. The values of both seem to be in direct opposition to each other, in both merits and downfalls. How can I help these two groups of women to stay conscious and supportive toward each other while encouraging them to not give up their choices? Especially when I have this same conflict within me.
[Answer] It seems, you have already begun to do this very thing, one, by asking these questions, and two, by consciously exploring this conflict in yourself. Remember, too, that focusing your efforts on discovering what you can and cannot see is the heart of it. Along with asking for help when you find your BLocks.

As for where to actually begin, you might try picturing your day as it unfolds, looking for any times wherein you sense hurry. Why "hurry?" Because "hurry" is one of the best ways to locate BLocks. For instance, do you hurry out the door when it's time to say goodbye to Jack? Then you have a BLock about leaving someone. And do you hurry in the door when you arrive at your job? Then you have a BLock about being on time to work, or about disappointing a boss with less than a perfect effort.

Look, also, at how you return home. Does your heart ever pound as you look at the clock when you return home? Pounding hearts can mean you are seriously reliving a BLock. As can experiencing blankness.

As for helping other mothers, you can best do this by remembering the four things we agree to when we practice as Emergence Practitioners.

[1] I agree to consciously explore
whatever BLocks my ability to love.

[2] I agree to consciously guide
any explorers whom I commit to help.

[3] I agree to consciously practice
loving restraint (damage control) whenever I am in shock.

[4] I agree to consciously share
my personal and professional emergences freely with others.

What I'm suggesting is, be open with other women about your struggles, journeys, and triumphs, knowing that this is the best way to help them.

[Question 7] Although I never blamed Jack for my feeling as though I fell behind in my career, I blamed society for “setting me up” to fail at one or the other (career versus motherhood). Am I wrong?
[Answer] Wrong? No. Normal? Yes. Now please remind yourself of what you know about human nature, including that the Layers of Aloneness exist. Period. Thus, we cannot exempt ourselves from the perils of being human, including that we all indulge at times in all three forms of blame; punishing, time-limited, and excusing.

So what can you do when you find yourself blaming? You can remember that the whole point to becoming conscious of the Layers is to have a say in how you respond to life, where "respond" is the key word. What I am saying is, we all have within us, an inner life quite analogous to Earth bound weather. This inner weather is our "personality." Moreover, just like the external Earth bound weather, our inner weather functions very much in direct response to the combined laws of Chaos Theory and Human Consciousness. Thus, what we initially experience is largely chaotic, in that it has a sensitive dependence on the initial conditions in our life. How we respond to these initial experiences, however, can very much be influenced by our personal journeys and efforts toward becoming more personally conscious, where "more consciousness" means "more available choices."

The whole point is, to blame is to be human. To learn to see past blame, one life event at a time, is divine.

[Question 8] The Defining Meaning Article both astounded and excited me. First of all, I kept getting the surprise of "Yes! I have always felt this way! Our view of the world and religion is too limited, like half a picture!" Secondly, because I was riveted to finish the article, when I did, I felt pained when I had to disconnect from the experience. It was as if the truth of my mind was written there in black and white by someone who has been able to weed through the confused jumble of my thoughts. Those being, “something is missing!” but I cannot figure out what this something is. Is it possible to see both sides of the coin (the measurable and the immeasurable) at the same time?
[Answer] Of all your questions, this one is the easiest. And the one I have struggled the hardest to know. The answer? We do this each and every time we are connected. Thus, the experience of being connected, in and of itself, IS the experience of being conscious of both the visible and the invisible.

By the way, have you ever noticed the "'head and heart" seesaws I've placed on the site? This metaphor was the first I used in an effort to try to be consciously connected to both worlds. Imagine my delight when I realized I needed to make no effort other than to connect to feel both worlds. And that my "efforts" to be conscious of both worlds actually made feeling connected harder. A Layer 2 focus, I imagine.

[Question 9] I can’t picture being able to give the kind of attention to Jack that he is used to getting while caring for a newborn child. Will he suffer during the adjustment to the new baby? How do I avoid and or decrease this?
[Answer] Can you picture Jack adjusting to the presence of a newborn? Herein lies the solution. Get him to connect to his new baby brother.

So, will he suffer during this adjustment period? Of course, he will. Remember, however, that this is true for all human beings, regardless of their age. What I mean is, we all suffer whenever we go through a major adjustment. This includes mothers when they have a second child.

Here again, if you focus on your own disconnects, you will minimize the problems, both Jack's and yours. Focus only on Jack's disconnects and you will increase your struggles tenfold. Along with his suffering.

[Question 10] I can’t picture not being afraid of going into labor. How does this fear affect the birth moment with my new child? Will my fear increase the disconnect? Help me Steve!!!
[Answer] Remember your resources. Netta and Ed are good ones. Your husband John is a good one too. And if you want, you and I can do some work exploring how pain affected your ability to connect during your time delivering Jack. Obviously, you, like all mothers, were injured by the birth experience.

In the meantime, please allow for the possibility that your second delivery may be a whole lot easier than your first. And if you cannot picture this, then we both know what this means. You have a BLock.

So if you do? The solution? Emergence.

My point is, you have options Jen. You do not have to be alone in your fear. Nor should you be ashamed of it. We all get afraid. And if you are growing a lot, you get afraid a lot. I do. Regularly and frequently. I would bet you do too.

Emergence Character Type Babies

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