Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Identifying Societal Influences on Self

Are we doing all we can to ensure our children are independent, I mean truly independent in a world that thrives on the ideology that a power hierarchy is acceptable?

Beginning in childhood we are bombarded with systems set up to teach us to ignore our own power and follow do as others say. As children, our parents pass on to us their understanding of life and religion. This begins at birth continues on through early developmental years and then the school system reaches for their piece of the child. As we graduate from school, large business decide if we are acceptable to work for them based on whether or not we are a good risk in our ability to make money for them. Companies say they want someone who can work independent, but the amount of independence stretches only as far as they allow within their policies.

Parental Influence on our True Self

Our learning or programming which ever you prefer, starts when we are quite young, in an attempt to ensure that we, including our children "go with the flow" rather than use our own feelings and sense of personal responsibility to live our lives. From the time we are small children we are told what to do, how to do it, and in many cases, if we do not do as suggested or told, we are punished in some way, whether it be time out, grounding and sadly in some cases, through spankings. As parents we have an extremely important role to play in our children's lives. Teaching them to make their own decisions and learn from the consequences of their choices is an invaluable tool in ensuring their ability to use and trust their feelings within. Having said that, we all know there are possibly dangerous situations where children need to be removed from to keep them safe. Following a situation like that is a time for communication in speaking with the child about the situation they were removed from, in an age appropriate manner. As parents we need to be in touch with our own true feelings and emotions ensuring we are not transferring ours onto our children. Teaching fear to a child rather than finding the power they have within is a dangerous precedent. To fear those in authority or on top of the hierarchy is the beginning of the "go with the flow" syndrome and in fact promoting the idea of it being acceptable for others to have the power over us to control us and our true feelings are not worth anything.

Judgment of our children is another trap we can fall into. We need to allow our children to be who they truly are and not require them to be who we want them to be. Judgment of self and others creates and further promotes the whole hierarchal structure that is creating the present adversity in the world.

School System Influence on our True Self

As we grow, and enter in the school system, the formal societal programming begins. Our children are introduced to yet another hierarchal system. They are graded as being A, B, C, D or F/R students. In the province I am living in, anything below a B is unacceptable and you are a student who, by this time has been labelled and requires increased attention more times then less from the parents as opposed to from the school.

Does the fact our children may not do well in school, or may not embrace school as we are told we must, really mean they are failures? Could it be that the children of today are living in a time of change and they are the catalysts for that change? In fact is it possible that our children are actually following and listening to their true self and not blindly accepting the status quo?

Much of the family time spent with children is hours spent doing homework. Our children have limited time during the school week to be children. The so called improved curriculum and testing is creating stress on our children and family time. The purpose of the new curriculum is to increase the knowledge of our children so they are able to grow smarter and be prepared for the business world ahead. When, in fact, to be productive, happy adults, children must have the opportunity to be children, to learn from their surroundings and experiences. We all have common sense, and its in childhood that we are able to get in touch with that common sense. The school system just by its nature of its teaching methods, knowledge taught and "rules" is hindering our children from being able to tap into their own common sense.

Our school system is focused solely on the business world, not to mention funded by the government who many times seems to be in the back pocket of the business world. . Business' focus is on the material, the more profits you make the better you are the more powerful you are. That attitude has built within people a feeling of failure if you are not materialistically in a preferred way. The hierarchal nature of business and government, we have created a society of few people with material wealth and many that are the working poor. Those that are the working poor don't get those material things that the wealthier get; in fact the hierarchy would come crashing down if they did. Those that are not wealthy are kept in a position by those with wealth of having the challenge of meeting their most basic needs. When you are required to put your energy into meeting your most basic of needs, there is little energy left to challenge and fight to find your true self and voice.

Religions affect on our True Self

We all have a basic truth within us that we feel drawn to find. In many cases religion helps to fulfill that need. It is the choice of us all what we choose to belief. One of the concerns I have with religion is once again the control and power religious institutions have over us. Various religions have various sacraments and rites that people are required to buy into to be fully accepted into the religion. For those that for whatever reason choose not to follow through with the sacraments/rites/rituals, there is a fear placed in us that GOD will judge us and our place in heaven is not guaranteed. If we do anything that goes against what the religion sees as being acceptable behaviour, we have sinned and only the religion as God's messengers can help you with that.

In my research and personal soul searching for my own truth related to God and life, I have always been fascinated with the fact that we are told that God loves us, that it is not right for us to judge others, yet there is an acceptance that judgment is appropriate from God.

The acceptance that we deserve the pain we feel, or the treatment we receive because we think of it as a pay back for behaviour that God will judge is merely a fear of taking responsibility for our own behaviour. It's always easier to blame then to take responsibility.

This again has an affect on our children. We teach them at a young age what is acceptable to God if you want to go to heaven. Fear once again in placed in them for things that in many cases are normal childhood behaviours or thoughts. The fear leads to guilt feelings. We begin to feel that we are this terrible person that has made God unhappy in some way. All of this adds to our feelings of being unworthy, worthless and not good enough. Hence we don't think our thoughts or feelings are valuable and we must listen to someone else.

The way our children are being treated and brought up today has a lasting affect on us all but more importantly on them. Through various laws our children are forced to endure the programming of not to trust your own feelings, but feel what they are told to feel and do as they are told to do. I don't feel there are any children that are "stupid”, its more our system isn't open minded enough to think outside the box on how we can reach these children. Having said that, in a hierarchal system, there is no desire to do that, allowing children to learn in a way that best suits them has them in a position of comfort and less of controllable. For example, statistics in my province are showing that we have many more dropouts with this new and supposedly improved education system. The children are feeling like they are not smart enough and the frustration and pain of failure they feel at school overwhelms them leaving them feeling empty and lost. Ideals conditions to be controlled.

What affect does this hierarchical system have on you and me and our children as they grow?

As we "grow-up" and become responsible citizens, we are controlled by our surroundings. As well we are also being controlled by our emotions. In these times of spiritual awakening and changes, issues and emotions are being surfaced within people that they have trouble recognizing for what they are. Rather than recognizing them as issues/situations/emotions to be healed, one of three scenarios can occur. The first being, people hold on tight to the feeling that they are not good enough, all that they are feeling and involved in right now, is their own fault and deserve the affects they are feeling.

The second scenario is to place blame on everyone else for their situation and not take any responsibility for themselves. While the first two scenarios may seem to be the same, they are not.

This leads us to the third scenario. Those that experience the third scenario understand that all experiences we have happen for a reason, whether it is for personal and/or spiritual growth as a person, or lessons yet to be learned. Taking responsibility is very important in healing and personal/spiritual growth, but it is more important to understand why we do/did what we did, learn from our experiences and the most critical aspect of growth and healing is to forgive ourselves. If you allow yourself to be honest with yourself, you will see that whatever the situation you are in or experiencing you did the best you could have done in that situation with the knowledge and experiences you had at that time. Understanding and forgiving self, allowing unconditional love of self is very empowering.

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