need to keep making the case for the spirit each time I write about this subject. The spirit is what drives all human lives. Each human is essentially a spirit. If you wanted to mess up with any human, you would do well to mess up with who they really are—a spirit. We are not merely flesh and bone. We are spirit. That is why each of us at the deepest recesses of who we are have our own values that we came with. We have what we are passionate about. We have desires, wishes and dreams—all matters related to the spirit.
The problem we have though is when the spirit man is messed up as we grow up. I believe that each individual spirit comes here on earth active, pure and innocent. Three things can happen to that spirit:
This is what I am admonishing us to do. To be intentional about raising children that are spirit-led. In other words, we raise the children with the full knowledge that they are not “tabula rasa” as some have said—coming here on earth with a blank slate waiting to be painted on. No, we all come to the earth already equipped with the spirit. To the degree that we nurture that spirit, to that degree will we be fulfilled. [ictt-tweet-inline]For as long as we are not nurturing the spirit, all our efforts to “make it in life” will always lead us to emptiness untold.[/ictt-tweet-inline]
The second thing that we can do with the spirit man is to totally ignore him. This is because of pure ignorance. At the back of our minds, we are fully aware that there has to be something more to life than just flesh and bone. However, there being no reference in life in teaching about these things, so we choose to ignore. We concentrate instead on the intellect alone. The closer we come to addressing matters of the spirit is when we address our psychology. Quite a huge percentage of humanity is doing this with the spirits of our young ones.
I am sorry to say but that innocent and pure spirit that children come with can easily be distorted and damaged to such an extent that it is relegated to the periphery of life. When children are abused, used, mistreated, abandoned or traumatized in anyway, chances are that their spirits can be distorted. Granted, some come out of that trauma or still use it to develop sensitive spirits. However, this is seldom a guarantee. Others get totally destroyed.
I am sure we are all interested in how we can nurture the spirit of a child so that they can be great. A few years ago, I developed a manuscript (that I never published but it’s still available) titled, Permission for Greatness. The premise behind that book is that if you nurture the spirit of a child, you will be giving them the authority to be as great as they were meant to be when they came here on earth…but I digress
In the next several articles we shall see seven or so ways in which we can raise spirit led children. Let us get started by this point today.
All our lives, we are raised to count and regard only that which counts, that which can be seen and that which makes sense. Unfortunately, matters related to the spirit are invisible and intangible. That is not to say though that they are not real. Issues of a human spirit are as real as empirical issues.
There is such a thing as our inner compass that speaks to us and directs our steps…only if we listen.
It is the inner compass. The most unfortunate thing about the inner compass is that it does not give us the full nine yards of the benefits of listening and obeying its voice. The second most unfortunate thing about the inner compass is that it is so gentle and cannot force us to listen and act. It is as gentle as a dove…only getting grieved whenever we do not listen, but cannot hold us at a ransom.
In raising a child to be spirit led, one needs to come to terms with the fact that the child already does have an inner compass. The child is not necessarily clueless about life as we might think. Of course, the child will not know about Mathematics, driving, engineering and many matters of the intellect. That does not mean however that the child’s spirit is blank and clueless about life. That child’s spirit can be active to the degree that we dare identify and nurture it as follows:
My two kids are totally different as you might expect. For some reason, Ethan loves drumming. From as young as he was, I remember him loving to see a drummer. I remember him picking up sticks every now and then and practice drumming. We didn’t even have drums in the house. He never watched anyone drumming…in other words, I cannot remember any trigger that would cause him to be inclined towards drumming. There is no question though about his passion here. It is but just one of many things that he is passionate about. The worst I can do is to overlook this hint and only steer him towards what the system dictates. [ictt-tweet-inline]I think parenting is a huge experiment that should not be boxed into a series of steps.[/ictt-tweet-inline] I think it should be seen as a massive adventure where we have no clue what kind of treasure we are going to unearth—but at the same time, we do know for sure that there is a treasure to unearth. It is not a matter of “if”, it only is a matter of “when”. Believe me, this passion is a matter of spirit.
This is a little bit different from the power of their passion. Here, it is all about their ability. My ability to write was ignored for decades because the system wanted a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. The earlier you identify what your child is naturally inclined to do with ease, the better. It is not a responsibility to nurture that to the fullest. The spirit is totally involved in this.
One day my wife was punishing Ethan’s younger sister. As she cried, I saw Ethan grabbed with so much emotion that he cried helplessly, “leave her alone”. That incident told me something about Ethan’s disposition. He could be someone that cares about others in stressful situations. He has compassion. In raising him, I have to look for as many opportunities as possible that he can show compassion. Emotions are one of the readily available things we can use to determine the nature of the spirit in a child. When we do have a hint of what it is, the ball is firmly in our court to learn to nurture it.
Let me explain. As children grow up, they obviously pick up things from the environment around them. Their desires in life might be for things that they have been exposed to. However, once in a while, you tend to be aware of your child’s desire for something that is not necessarily from their environment but from the spirit. Such things that make you stop and notice. When a 5-year-old Ethan tells his mama, “One day I am going to build you a huge house with a big kitchen”, you know that such a saying did not come from the ego, but from the spirit.
There is so much to say about the inner compass, but I will stop there for now. Let’s pick this up in the next article.