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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Teaching Principles of Motherhood

I had a friend who was an atheist.  Or was, until twelfth grade.  In her senior year of hight school, she took a philosophy course in which she studied Descartes’ argument for the existence of a “Supreme Being.”  After the door was open, she could no longer dismiss the possibility of a coherent force greater than herself.  Nor could she embrace a God in which she did not believe.  She became an agnostic.  The day she told me this story while we laid on the beach, wiggling our toes in the warm and giving sand.  The sky overhead was azure blue.  The breeze tasted of salt as it rolled over our prone bodies.  The fricative whisper of the waves was steady and infinite.  In such an idyllic
setting it was only natural that our conversation would turn to God.  
Each of us arrived on that deserted stretch of beach having weathering life’s vicissitudes by using the tools of our spiritual, academic and moral indoctrination.  
We were young.  We were so young.
We puzzled over how we might want to raise our children when the time came that we would have them.  Would our husbands agree?  We debated what moral and spiritual framework would serve to guide our children toward adulthood.  
I listened to our meandering and unedited thoughts on motherhood...then went home and summarized them.  What most surprises me about our ideas as I read them now, thirty years later, is how remarkably wise they were.  I kept them posted on my refrigerator for the first ten years of my children’s lives.  When I felt defeated or overwhelmed, they helped me find my way.  I realize that, even now, with two of my three children having reached the age of majority, these principles are still relevant.  
After thirty years, I have learned that Whatever we teach our children, we teach ourselves.

Whatever we teach our children, we teach ourselves.

Teaching Principles
molly lemeris and dawn evans 
To teach our children to practice tolerance of others and self-acceptance.
To teach our children the importance of self-discipline.
To teach our children that there is a greater force that guides them and to trust in the unseen.
To teach our children that liberty means freedom for all.
To teach our children that to give is to receive; that giving comes from the heart.
To teach our children to look for, and appreciate life’s many miracles. Use tenderness regularly.
To teach our children to celebrate life whenever possible.
To teach our children that light is possible because of darkness.  Live in light.
To teach our children that love is given unconditionally and that love drives out fear.
To teach our children to relinquish making demands on others and of life.  Focus on intention instead.
To reach our children that peace is found first in the heart.
To teach our children that truth is paramount.  “Be still and listen to the truth.” (from A Course in Miracles)

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