“Children do not come from us, they come through us.” -Barbara Johnson
I have failed many times as a mother but when I heard Barbara say that “children do not come from us, they come through us”, I saw that I am just babysitting for children that belong to the Universe. They are not mine… and they will never be mine. It changed the way I look at children, mine or not.
Many parents like me are/were survivors – striving to live without a father (or a mother). Our problem is when we become parents we begin to see ourselves as caretakers when in truth we are caregivers. That is, to take our definition – our ego-strength – from what we do for others, rather than giving to others out of our true Self as an expression of love. This is the truth– we were created out of love, born out of love, thus love is in us. It is this belief that if we give as an expression of self-worth then we do not need anything in return – and that is when you really get the gift of grace.
We live in a society where the emotional experience of “love” is conditional on behavior. Where fear, guilt, and shame are used to try to control children’s behavior because parents believe that their children’s behavior reflects their self-worth.
In other words, if little Michael is well-behaved, “good boy,” then his parents are good people. If Michael acts out, and misbehaves, then there is something wrong with his parents. (“He doesn’t come from a good family.”)
What the family dynamics research shows is that it is actually the good child-the family hero role- who is the most emotionally dishonest and out of touch with him/herself, while the acting-out child- the scapegoat – is the most emotionally honest child in the dysfunctional family. Honesty promotes maturity… they are more alive!
This can be clear if one chooses to be brutally honest with himself/herself and do some self-examination. The hero, the good child, is so busy performing that he is more insecure because he’s afraid of failing and be out of his parents’ love circle. Most of the time, dysfunctional parents (the leaking boat, and the scoured anchor) have been wearing the masks of good Christians, law-abiding citizens, economically sound (house, cars, money & status, their pedigree (educated, prestigious)) that they are blind to see their hero child in writhing in pain. The family tends to put all their unwanted dirt (their shame, their guilt, and their fear) on the “less-perfect” child (whether theirs or their relatives children). I believe we can say the scapegoat is, “Ngelekek Budel” while the hero is “Ngelekek Chelsel.”
The hero believes he is loving (a child) by shaming and abusing; and this is really insane, ridiculous concept. Just as insane and ridiculous as the concept of murder and war in the name of God.
Rick Warren, the author of Purpose Drive Life says (I’m paraphrasing) that so many Christians use God to actualize themselves! This is where we fail to see God as loving and kind, gracious and merciful. Hero is programmed to see God as mean and cruel who will send you to hell if you get out of line – it’s called religiosity.
Shakespeare says it best in Macbeth, “Away and mock time with fairest show; False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”[/restrict]