Life can be disappointing. When you are a child the worst thing that can happen in your day is not being allowed to add sugar to your sugar cookie. But as an adult, having ambitions, dreams, expectations, desires, you often have to deal with crushing rejections and failures. Whether it’s your work life, your love life, or just your life life, things often do not work out the way you had expected.
Point is, sometimes I lay awake at night and feel like a total loser. Contemplating my existence, staring into the black redness of my eyelids, and feeling lame and unimpressed. But then I think of The Munch. This being I have created. “Well at least I have this creature I made with my body and have been keeping alive for 2 years…”
Although it is so very tempting to make your child your purpose in life, the meaning to the mayhem, I think this is a very dangerous approach. Of course your offspring will be the most significant act of your existence, from a spiritual and cosmic perspective, but that doesn’t mean that they are your accomplishment. When you start to think of your kid as an achievement, you objectify them. They become an extension of you, rather than their own entity.
Even if you have never had a child, we are all children of someone, and have experienced that very distinct moment where you choose to live your life beyond the direct influence of your parents. Maybe for some of us, we will always hear the nagging voice of the parental perspective… pecking away at every decision. But I think most people aim to embrace their conditioning, but question if who mommy and dadddy wanted them to be is the same as who they actually are. The healthiest dynamics allow for that pivotal self-reflection and eventual evolution.
But when you place all your hopes, dreams, and expectations of self onto your child, you create cascading pressure for them to be exactly how you envision them rather than following their own path. It is seductive to shift all your ambitions to your child because they are the living embodiment of potential. Sometimes our own lives can feel wasted, but theirs so full of hope. But no matter how much we want the best of our kids, only wanting the best for them, and not ourselves, puts the burden on them. Maybe the best for our kids is being the example of the type of person you want them to value, and forever challenging ourselves to be better.
“Munch… stop distracting me… I am trying to look wistfully into my own future.”