Question: As an “unconscious” parent, how can I help my daughter stay in the world of the present moment?
Leonard’s Answer: The best way to help your daughter stay in the present moment is for you to be present with her. If you find that difficult, then you have some healing to do. Most of us abandoned the present moment in childhood, as a way of escaping the pain of living in a world where our parents were not truly present. It was too painful.
We repressed the pain, and then we ventured further and further into the mind as a strategy of avoidance. In other words, we followed in the footsteps of our parents, just as they did with their parents. The outcome is that we are no longer present, and when we have children of our own, we cannot be present with them. In fact, your daughter’s presence can unconsciously remind you of the pain from your own childhood, which makes it even more difficult to be present with her.
In order to be present with your daughter, you will have to go through a process of feeling all the difficult feelings repressed within you. In a sense, you have to reverse that process of repression. It does not have to be difficult, and it does not have to take long.
The first step is to remember the present moment, many times each day, so that gradually you become more and established in Presence. Your daughter can also be your teacher. Just tune into her, and she will show you how to be present.
Then you can begin the process of allowing all the painful memories and emotions from the past to surface into conscious and responsible expression. If you are present, it is not difficult, because you know that the feelings are from the past and have nothing to do with the present moment, and so there is no need to continue repressing them. You allow the feelings to surface into an inner environment that is loving, accepting, allowing and compassionate.
As the feelings arise and as you experience them consciously, they release from you. You are no longer avoiding things hidden with you, and so you can be more and more present with your daughter. It will be as much a blessing for you as for her.