Parenting from the ego vs. intuition

bernstein
Gabrielle Bernstein’s newest book, May Cause Miracles

I’ve been reading an amazing book these days, Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein. I went to summer camp with Gabby as a teenager and was thrilled to see that she’d released several wildly successful books and has been on an active speaking circuit, including on Oprah.

The main theme of Spirit Junkie is tapping into your inner guide, the source of wisdom and intuition. In order to better hear its voice, which is always speaking to us, Gabby walks readers through tools to override the voice of the ego, which is based in fear.

What types of things does the ego lead us to do? It has internalized past hurts and projects them onto current relationships in our lives, forcing us to relive our painful pasts time and again – in situations that have absolutely nothing to do with the original hurts. And for parents, it’s the source of the anger and frustration that leads us to lash out at our children.

When I look at the difference between punitive parenting and conscious parenting, I see the difference between parents who are acting from their egos and those who are listening to their inner guides. Punitive parenting comes from the belief that humans are flawed and children must be made to hurt in order to prevent them from hurting others. Sadly, being hurt is just more arsenal for the ego to bring forward and justify attacking others in the future. Conscious, or natural parenting, comes from a place of faith in humanity, a belief that children are innocent and look to us to model love and respect, and set fair limits.

All of us have experienced varying degrees of hurt in our lives – that’s part of the human experience. The big question for us is how do we process that hurt before passing it along to others. It’s easy to act from the ego – it’s the dominant voice in our minds, and it takes active, repetitive effort to take back our thought space. But for those parents who have endeavored to work on themselves in order to pass on even more love to the next generation, the journey is well worth the effort.

Conscious parenting is gaining ground, and the very best books out there, like Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort, or Connection Parenting by Pam Leo, recognize that the most important work we can do as parents is to work on ourselves.

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Miriam is a work from home mama who literally can’t stop kissing Dalia, her delicious 2 year old. Miriam’s other loves are her husband Misha, and escaping the Boston winters with friends and family in Israel. She loves reading parenting books, lunchtime yoga classes, crafting and helping others find their purpose through life coaching.

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