We are a generation obsessed with perfection. We mothers more than others perhaps. We push ourselves to know it all and do it all. Quite obviously we project this onto our offspring. Ten choices of fruit at breakfast, three different cereals to choose from, two kinds of dessert, three bathing suits, two backpacks, and of course, how could I forget, sailing, horseback riding, ice skating, and sculpting are only some of the high-end activities we aspire to fill our children’s evenings with. We constantly compare ourselves with others, measuring ourselves to impossible standards. We barely have time to sit still. From lacrosse to tutoring, dance to drama. The question to ask is this: Where is this high-speed train going?
What is our purpose in doing all this for our children? Do we realize that in giving them so much we are actually giving them the false message of perfection? Do we realize that in giving them so much we teach them to know life only through a lens that is plentiful and fanciful? Is our goal to raise children who are addicted to comfort, excess and ease?
Our children need more than anything to learn that it is in the essentials of life that peace is to be found, not in the frills. They need to learn that they do not need trips to the toy store to feel good about who they are but instead to realize their goodness in their as-is state. Our children are already aware of their as-is perfection. It is we parents who are not in touch with our own.
We fill our children’s lives with things, events, and activities because we are basically anxious with the stillness of our own spirits. It is because we are insecure about our own sense of worth and out of touch with our own inherent divinity that we overcompensate for this lack by creating the illusion of perfection through our children.
This unrelenting projection of our inner anxieties onto our children needs to stop. Our children pay a heavy price for our discontent. We parents need to learn to allay our insecurities and lack of worth by living our own lives purposefully and authentically. Once we begin to do this, the need for frills and fancy fall to the wayside. Instead a renewed sense of inner godliness gets projected outward. Once this inner light begins to shine, everything on the outside begins to bask in its glow. Suddenly, a simple meal of vegetables and fruit becomes golden, a walk in the park bejeweled, and a family movie in bed the diamond of all experiences.