Parenting and A Course in Miracles

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1 Transcript for the Parenting and A Course in Miracles video by Linda Leland Hi there! I m Linda Leland and today we re going to talk about parenting and A Course in Miracles. This is going to be hugely different from any other parenting talk you ve ever heard. ACIM doesn t talk a lot about parenting specifically, but it s a manual for life. ACIM is a teaching. It teaches us the universal path to love, peace, remembering God, and trusting in God. It teaches us the power of God and the power of our own thoughts. It helps us to undo the fear and guilt that are shaping our outer world. We can see this work manifest in our lives. So many students of ACIM have had such profound changes and clarity as a result of applying these practices and teachings to their life. Then, something happens with our kids. Our kids develop and issue or behavior. We love them so much and want the best for them, so we get so fearful that every single thing we know goes out the window. You can take the practices of A Course in Miracles and apply them to any topic. We ve all done that. Today we are going to take these principles, truths, and healing practices, and focus them on parenting. ACIM tells us that the answer never lies in fixing the outside world of form. We ve been taught to do this for so long and it doesn t work. It s never worked. It s about healing the mind. That s the only place healing can happen. We re always receiving the effects of our thoughts. It s easy to understand that, but when it comes to our kids, we don t. We don t realize that they too are a mirror image of us. They too are showing us all of our hidden beliefs, greatest fears, our biggest thoughts, and everything we ve been resisting. They show us all of the beauty too. Raising children is a beautiful experience. They are also our soul mates. They re our teachers. There s no distinction between the teacher and the learner. Just because you got here first and might have read more books, doesn t make us an authority. We are the ones with an authority problem. We bring these children in. They come in so helpless and young that we think that we need to mold and create them. We think that we re the authority and in charge. This is not true. This causes a lot of conflict. You are the teacher and you are the leaner. You child is the teacher and your child is the learner. This is a partnership. I want you to really see it that way. I m going to share with you an example in my life of when I was really trying to control a situation with my child. You can t. You can t control anyone s behavior. As a parent, you may be

2 temporarily but, if the mind is still sick, the behavior is going to repeat itself in your life even bigger. The only thing you have any control over is your sense of peace. I m going to read you something that I love from ACIM. Jesus says that you can control the direction of your thinking. Two thought systems are in your mind, love and fear. You can train your mind to listen more consistently to the voices for love. That is the only control you have. You cannot control the world of form. I am telling you, this applies to your children as well. You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think, but you are responsible for what you think. What you do comes from what you think and instead of trying to control the behavior which is an effect, you come back to the mind, which is the cause and you must make a change in your thinking. We re not really taught that parenting is about looking within. This is a huge reversal. We re paying attention in a whole new way. We re not paying attention to everything our kids are doing anymore. We re paying attention to every thought that we have. I had a situation with my daughter that I want to tell you about. I want you to know that I have her permission to do so. Several years ago, I went through an experience with my daughter, Victoria, that in every sense of the word, was a parent s worst nightmare. She was reckless in every way. She was selfdestructive, self-harming, addicted, angry, depressed, and she did not want to be here. This lasted for a few years. Within that time, I tried everything. I did everything you could ever think of to save her. I tried it all. I went to the ends of the earth, literally. Spare no expense, I tried it all. It was like I was in a boat and she was in a boat. The boat was in deadly rapids. I would be rowing against the current as hard as I could, rowing and rowing her to the next solution. She would jump out of the boat into the deadly water. I would grab her and put her back in the boat and strap on her life jacket. I would start rowing her in a new direction and she would jump out again. I would jump in, grab her, and get her back in the boat. This time I would duck tape the life jacket on her. She would manage to get that off and jump back in the water. I was rowing and rowing. I would try anything to save her. It was a dark, dark time in my experience. It was a dark time in hers too. One day, two beautiful women who were spirit sisters of mine came to me at the same time and said,

3 Linda, you have got to let go. You have got to stop. I was like, Moms don t stop. I m not going to stop. I m so afraid that if I stop, she s going to die. I really thought that they we re going to tell me that she wasn t going to die, but the didn t. Both of them said this at two separate times. She might die. You re right. She might do this for another 25 years. Do you want to do this too? They used the analogy of a car accident. If she s getting into a car accident and you are there in the passenger s seat, you are not helpful to her. If you re outside of the car taking care of yourself, whole and healthy, you can be helpful. It was that day that I let go. There were parts of me that were so scared. There we re also parts of me that we re relieved and knew that this was the best thing I could do for both of us. It s unbelievable because as soon as I did, Victoria started to get better. As soon as I let go, the right solutions literally came knocking at the door. I couldn t see them before when I was off in my boat on the rapids. I want you to know that she is so awesome now. She was awesome then, but she is alive, sober, brilliant, awake, and still one of my greatest teachers. She s one of my greatest teachers in a whole different way. I wasn t studying A Course in Miracles back then, but what happened was everything that ACIM teaches. The healing happened just the way ACIM says it will. I let go and I trusted something bigger than me. I let go of how I thought it should go and I was no longer attached to the outcome. I took care of myself and my mind, and now I was able to listen. Now I was able to be truly helpful. We have all of these emotions as parents. We feel everything from rage and disgust to irritability. Whenever there s an emotion triggered in you, I want you to know that that s coming from your interpretation of what s happening. You ve always got to bring it back to you. If you see your kids screaming and fighting and it s really upsetting to you, where is there screaming and fighting in you? If you re getting bothered by your children numbing themselves somehow, where are you numbing? If your children are perfectionists or always worried about what other people are thinking, where are you worrying about what others are thinking or about being perfect? Your level of patience with your kids is the exact level of patience that you have with yourself. It s so easy for us to see it as being outside of ourselves and then want to fix it in that way. It doesn t work that way. You need to bring it back.

4 The good news is that we have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given to every one of us. It is already within you now. If you don t recognize it or don t know it s there, it s only because you haven t been looking in that direction. The Holy Spirit is the greatest love, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that is in you. It is the bridge between fear-based beliefs and the truth of who you are, your God-self, magnificence, and unchanging innocence and love. I love that ACIM says that you can t teach yourself out of this. This morning, the garbage man came. I put the garbage out and they came and took it. That s pretty much what the Holy Spirit does. Your only job is to bring it. That s it. You can t un-teach yourself these old thoughts. You can t fix something using the same thought pattern that got you into it. Bring this into the quiet. There s 3 steps to forgiveness that ACIM teaches about: 1. Own it. Don t bring your kids behavior problem to the Holy Spirit. It won t get you anywhere. Your emotion is going to lead you to the underlying belief that is yours to heal. Bring that and own it. 2. Make a decision. Do I still want to keep this? Is it serving me in some way? Is it making me feel safe? Is there a reason that I m going to continue to hang onto this? Ask yourself that. 3. Let it go. If you re ready to let it go, then let it go. This part you can t do yourself. If it s still sticking around with you, it s because you re trying to do it alone, and you can t. We need to do so little, to get so much. Now, you parent from this place. ACIM also says, Do you really think that you can plan for your own care and safety better than I can? Well, do you really think that you can plan for your kids care and safety better than God can?

5 It s really about getting these old beliefs out of the way so that you can listen to guidance, go into the quiet, make a decision not based on fear, but based on love. Start to notice when you feel fear and want to react from that place. You ve got to pause, get up, and walk away. Take it to that knowing within you. You ve got to line yourself up before you can help anyone else. Whenever your reacting to your kids or any situation with fear, you are not helping. Whenever I used to talk to Victoria back then, in the back of my mind was, Oh my God, she s going to commit suicide. She s going to live under a bridge. She s going to be a junkie. She s going to be pregnant. I spoke to her from this place. Not one of the things I did that came from fear was helpful. I didn t do her any good and it didn t do me any good. The love, peace, wellbeing, and innocence that you want for your kids lives in you. You unearth that. You keep doing this work, find it within you, and extend that to them. This is how you heal a family. You get lots of opportunities. Every parenting situation that you find yourself in is an opportunity to either react from fear or love. This is how you save them 40 or 400 years of deprogramming. You want to get these beliefs out of the way and get yourself in check before you react to anything. In Workbook Lesson 2, ACIM explains that we give everything the meaning that it has for us. You decide today, what meaning you want to give your parent-child relationship. What purpose do you want to give this? You can use it to live in fear, try to control everything by yourself, without God or you can use this partnership to remember God. When you use your relationship to remember God, it gets easier and easier. Most people don t come to this level of realization when it comes to parenting, but I assure you that the only thing that is ever going to satisfy your children, is the love of God. Stop being so concerned with making them into square pegs to fit in the square holes of society that are going to feel safe and secure in this world. Instead, focus your attention on cultivating the truth of who you are and the truth of who they are, their brilliance, beauty, love, innocence, and truth. Make that the purpose of this relationship. Another thing that someone told me when I was going through this situation with my daughter was, Speak to the King, and the King will show up. Line yourself up before you respond to your kids. Always, only speak to the highest potential in them. If you find that you are not doing that, stop, and do whatever you need to do to get to that place of remembering. When you do speak to the King, the King will really, truly, show up.

6 I thank you for doing this work. Your intuition gets sharpened. You become more intuitive as to the right decisions to make. You will need to make decisions as a parent. There are some practical things that you re going to need to do. Where you make these decisions from is what s going to really matter. You don t have to be perfect. Your kids are not going to be perfect. You re going to flounder. That s really okay. It s your intention behind it that matters. The most important part of being a parent is taking care of the integrity of your mind. We re not just raising kids, we are raising kids. We do that by raising ourselves. I wanted to have some downloadable.pdf or guide sheet to go along with this, but we already have the workbook lessons of ACIM. I highly recommend that you do ACIM and the workbook lessons. I think it would be so cool, even if you ve done them, to do them over again from the perspective of parenting. If anyone out there is going through a situation with your child right now, a friend of mine, Kimberly Cartwright, taught me this great exercise. I m going to use an example. Someone just wrote to me that their preteen is never happy. She s miserable and there s not a day when she s happy. The parent is really concerned. This is the daughter of ACIM student. Kimberly taught us this great exercise of taking whatever problem you re seeing and just reading through the first 50 workbook lesson title s of ACIM. It takes you through the undoing that we were just talking about. I m not going to read them all to you now, but I will read a bit to give you an example. If this were the mother of the preteen, she would read: Lesson 1: Nothing I see means anything. Then she would say, Nothing I see about my daughter s unhappiness means anything. Then she would move on to Lesson 2, 3, 4, and so fourth. I have given everything I see about my daughter s unhappiness all the meaning it has for me. I do not understand anything I see regarding my daughter s unhappiness. I am never upset about my daughter s unhappiness for the reason I think. I am upset because I see something that is not there regarding my daughter s unhappiness. I only see the past when I see my daughter s unhappiness. I see nothing as it is now with my daughter s unhappiness. I am not alone in experiencing the effects of the way that I m seeing my daughter s unhappiness. My attack thoughts about my daughter s unhappiness are attacking my invulnerability. God is in everything I see and God is in my daughter s unhappiness. There s nothing my holiness cannot do with regards to my daughter s unhappiness. The final one says,

7 I am sustained by the love of God. Take any issue to that practice. It s incredible. The workbook lessons are such a great tool we have to take us through this undoing and become fully awake as parents. One of our great programs here is called ACIM 365. If you ever want some coaching through the workbook lessons of A Course in Miracles, Lisa Natoli sends an audio every day for a year. After you read the lesson for the day, you ll watch the audio. She is by far my favorite teacher. She explains it and breaks it down in such a beautiful, heartfelt, and user-friendly way. That s available to anyone who s interested. I thank you for being here. I love you and I ll see you soon.

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