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.