This article first appeared in Brisbane Circle Magazine in April 2014.
Having read hands for over a decade, I am seeing more and more people these days who have chosen not to have children. It’s easy to understand why – in a world of spiralling anxiety, apparently limited resources and pressure to ‘get it right’ it can seem like a gigantic risk to bring another soul into being.
It’s like going back to finger painting when everyone else’s work is on show at the Louvre.
Children are messy, uncontrollable and utterly clear. If you haven’t dealt with your past, they’ll bring it up til you do, then double check your workings. If you’re addicted to control, they’ll push and pull you like dough until you rise into to a higher state of kindness.
How do I know this? Because I never had kids, in order to study those who did. I could have married in my 20’s but I chose to have a second childhood instead. I wanted to dress up and play on swings, because I knew that that would heal the world faster than me being a grumpy mum. Laughter is the only cure for fear and trust issues I’ve ever known.
At some point, most people get that life is not about winning. It’s about becoming who you are, at your own speed, and seeing your innocence. Children are happy because they listen to their hearts and souls, not just their minds. The mind is too fickle to run life alone. What it considers fashion one day is retro the next.
In counselling, your heart is like an inner child, who needs support and approval. If this love is not given, then you may find it hard to be around (or parent) external children because of that sense of ‘nothing good to share’. This can also turn up as non-stop self or other-directed criticism. The good news is that it’s never too late to have a happy child(hood). You can reconnect with yourself anytime you like.
Simply place a hand on your heart, wait until you feel it beat, and then breath slowly in and out a few times. Ask your heart out loud ‘how are you?’ and you’ll see, feel or hear a response (often a smiley or sad face). Then ask ‘what do you need more of?’ and ‘what do you need less of?’ The answers can be illuminating. If this process doesn’t work, be patient and try again when you have time alone. It takes trust to do this, but the results are worth their weight in pearls and gold.
It’s only when we are in touch with our hearts that we can truly forgive ourselves for mistakes and let go of the past.
Like many people who delay having families, I’m probably recovering from a past life trauma at the deepest level. Perhaps I lost a child early last time around, or my children were taken from me. Or maybe I’m still processing childhood grief from this life. It’s probably a mixture of the two.
I compare past life recovery to burning your hand on a stove. It can take a while for you to heal from the shock and return to the kitchen. Cooking while injured only leads to blood in the food.
That’s why I don’t judge people if they have seven kids, or none. Once you’ve read thousands of soul contracts, it becomes obvious that we are all students. A university offers many degrees, and so does Earth. There’s no use in comparing someone in first year business to their friend in final year medicine. Both people deserve respect.
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With best wishes,
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