Friday, April 29, 2011

Spiritual Parenting

When Riley was four, and had been screaming non-stop for over two years, I used to sit in her room at night, after she was asleep. I'd envision her surrounded in white light, us surrounded in white light. Loving each other. It was my desperate attempt to connect with her soul, because often our days were not pretty. I'd have conversations with her, and with God, in my mind,

"C'mon. What is it you want me to learn? Haven't we had enough of this?"

If I'm being honest, it was also a desperate attempt to change her. To make her just stop screaming. Please.

Along those lines, my husband Todd and I would meet at 10PM almost every night, and visualize. We'd take turns.

"Okay...she's 20, he's 18," he'd say...and we'd imagine them leading good lives, we'd dare to describe it in detail.

"She's 12, he's 10," I'd say, and go on to describe both children thriving.

We saw it. We hoped. Only sometimes I couldn't. On rare occasion, Todd couldn't. But usually one of us could. We weren't often down at the same time. Again, the emphasis was on her. I wasn't really visualizing a change in me. 

At some point it became clear this special needs parenting journey was more than I could deal with alone. Though I'd been casually studying metaphysics before she was born, Riley's autism put me on a sometimes frantic quest for a feeling of connection with God. I read. I studied. I did daily workbook exercises. I prayed. I wore a watch with a timer to remind me to do affirmations upon the hour. I began a meditation practice.  

I began to change me.  

I no longer believe I'm being taught lessons by a God who finds me lacking. It's more like a God who encourages me to be all I can be. To see. To express who I already am. When I remember to be "who I really am" with my children, nothing beats the feeling. Those moments of pure connection are heaven on earth. And of course, being human, sometimes I forget. 

Recently I discovered this amazing website on spiritual parenting. It's a smorgasbord of stories, affirmations for kids, games, archived radio programs for parents to listen to. It goes on and on. Good stuff.

I believe everyone has their own path to God. Parenting has been mine. I would never imply my way should be your way, but if any of the ideas in the above website speak to you, I am delighted. I love finding treasures and passing them on.



  1. Thank you for share your truth. I too am a parent of a special needs child. I have been in my journey alone for five years. Just this year I have reached out to other parents on FB. To meet people in this journey is amazing. I am thankful for your perspective. Now I will turn more toward Jesus. Don't get me wrong I completely rely on Him for everything in my life. Your post has let me know that there is hope. Maybe it is time to enter into a new season and your post was confirmation of prayer. Again thank you for taking the time to share. You never know who God is speaking to through your words.

  2. No matter how hard we try to teach our kids the concrete, everyday lessons of mathematics and reading and shoe-tying and potty-training and bike riding, I honestly feel that we are remiss in our efforts if we leave out spirituality. That doesn't mean I think you have to choose a particular religion and embrace it, but we do need to help our children understand what it means to be a human among humans existing on this Earth and interacting with each other. They can pick up Algebra any old time, but discovering their own stories and light within is priceless. The earlier they learn that, the less likely they'll have to do it as parents (like me).
    Thanks for the reminder and the link, Michelle.

  3. I so admire you and your family. Thanks for giving me (us) a glimpse of your path.

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