Oneness and the Family
By Annie Burnside, M.Ed.
One of the most important aspects of life that parents can teach, model, and crystallize for their children is both a theoretical and a practical understanding of Oneness. The expanded perspective that they are indeed an integral aspect of a divine whole, so vast, so loving, so pure, and so unbelievably multi-dimensional that it is almost too difficult for the mind alone to grasp is imperative in paving the way to raised spiritual consciousness within a family. This divine whole, fully a part of them, invites us not to suppress our individuality, but rather to express it in whatever way we choose. Oneness from this vantage point is both singular and multi-faceted in nature, like a beautiful diamond, a divine paradox, to be sure. In fact, use of the divine paradox, which can be noted everywhere in life, is a parent's greatest tool for teaching the all-encompassing aspect of Oneness that can be quite difficult to comprehend for both adults and children alike, until it becomes no longer an outer mental concept, but instead an inner spiritual knowing.
Offering children the vision of an enlarged perspective in relationships, life situations, and all circumstances assists them in experiencing the power of Oneness as a means rather than as simply an end. When analyzing any subject, the wider the scope, the more the reality of Oneness can be perceived and integrated by the individual. For example, when viewing a child's thumbnail with him or her, one can look very closely and only see the small nail or one can continually enlarge his perception to include the actual thumb, the entire hand, the long arm, the whole body, everyone else in the room, all persons in the neighborhood, the population of the large state, and on, and on, and on. Similar to flying high up in the sky on an airplane, the farther up you go, the more the land below can be viewed and perceived in its entirety. The individuation of each unique aspect of the land below can no longer be perceived by the naked eye, even though one understands the details to remain. A new expanded vision is born and changes the vantage point to include a much larger slice of reality. The same is true for all aspects of individuation; it simply depends on how you look at it.
There are many other analogies that parents can utilize to explain the all-encompassing, multi-faceted aspect of Oneness, all extremely beneficial in solidifying the concept in a child's mind. While the ocean/wave, leaf/tree, brick/house, and sugar/ cake analogies are all quite useful for the mind's comprehension, the most empowering aspect of Oneness will blossom for your children when they can apply this newfound mental understanding to their thoughts, words, and deeds in relationship toward all else. When knowledge becomes heartfelt and integrated into life experience, it creates actual change, change that is purposeful, uplifting, and inspiring. The goal for parents is to move beyond simply teaching the concept of Oneness and into a lifestyle that supports the inner knowing that there is really no ultimate separation between anything. Everything that exists is part of the divine whole, and the divine whole is part of everything. When this understanding becomes embedded in both heart and mind, life choices will reflect this viewpoint.
Tolerance, patience, acceptance, non-judgment, unconditional love, compassion, and empathy, all virtues religions implore us to embrace, take on a whole new meaning for a child when he comes to understand the paradoxical meaning of Oneness. The other, while in a different physical form than him, is actually, in the largest of perspectives, a part of him. Both individuals are unique, luminous facets of the same diamond, being called to shine their light and express their diamond qualities in their own singular way. Every individual expression affects the whole diamond on some level, for the two can never be separated. An individual facet may perceive himself to be separate, focused only on the thumbnail that is his solitary life, so to speak, but a mere change in perspective, an expansion of perception, will always lead him back to his true relationship to the whole diamond.
Encourage and support your children to express their individuality in ways that truly please and serve them. Help them to decipher an inner desire to express that comes from the part of them that remembers their connection to the purposeful, all-encompassing, multi-faceted whole versus an ego-oriented desire to express that needs validation from an exterior world that sees them as separate and solely singular in nature. The time is now to ensure that our children become conscious, global citizens who will reframe what it means to be a human being for future generations. Our world depends on a deeper understanding of Oneness, an expanded view of reality, to thrive for the centuries to come. As the spiritual leaders of our families, it is not only teaching, but also modeling the application and relevance to daily, modern living that will most help our children in living as both individuals and as a divine whole.
Annie Burnside is an author, educator, parent, and soul nurturer specializing in conscious relationships and spiritual development. As a soul nurturer she helps others awaken to their own truth in all aspects of life by providing the tools and encouragement to experience direct divine connection in everyday reality. As a means to share her own spiritual evolution, Annie created a spiritual support practice in 2005 where she supports others in balancing the exterior world with an interior focus. Annie's recent book Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family (Wyatt-MacKenzie, June 2010) inspires parents to utilize everyday mediums to infuse greater spiritual awareness into daily family life. She also writes the Soul to Soul Perspective: A Little Bit of Soul Goes a Long Way blog for the Chicago Tribune and the family consciousness column for Evolving Your Spirit Magazine. Besides writing, Annie speaks publicly and teaches workshops. She lives with her husband and three children in Chicago, IL.