I’m doing research for a new book and spent part of the day reading Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Lessons for Parents.” It’s such an encouraging and thoughtful book. I love his writing — so clear and simple — and I love his ideas — so far-reaching and generous.
He writes about some of the principles that he used, unknowingly, while raising his own children. They make such sense, yet are not instinctive for us Westerners. One of the principles is to understand that, ultimately, you cannot control your kids. By that he means that children are their own separate selves, and we are privileged to be their caretakers and to have such great influence over them, but we cannot make them into who we want them to be, we can only help them be their best selves.*
In many ways that’s the hardest lesson of all for parents: learning to let go.
We feel such a great responsibility towards these little beings in our care, and we can barely help trying to mold them to fit our own dreams. The real trick is how to help and encourage them, how to instill our own core values, and yet also let them be themselves and live their own dreams to fruition.
It’s all an exercise in being humble and grateful, and doing the best you can!
*By the way, he does not mean we can’t guide or discipline them!