Parenting: a matter of setting a good example, right?


I am sitting in an office with the owner and his son of 2.5/3 years and a cat. 
The owner tells about personal developments in recent times. 
I'm listening. In the meantime, his son plays with the cat.
"You must come here," the young child says to the cat, "come here."
He commands the cat several times (as his father commands him), but the cat just goes its own way. At a certain moment the child picks up the cat. He holds the cat between his arm and his side. The cat tries to break free, she is not in a panic, she doesn't scratch or meow, but she wants her freedom of movement back. The father intervenes. He says: "The cat doesn't like that, you shouldn't do that, let go of the kitty, come here" (the commands).
Jim lets go of the cat and goes to his father. 
The father takes the child on his lap and says: 'I will let you feel what you are doing with the pussy..., you hurt the pussycat, the cat doesn't like it when you grab her like that'. 
The father clasps his hands around the flanks of his son, around the rib cage and presses forcefully on the rib cage of his son, who starts to cry loudly and says: "That hurts, don't hurt, Daddy." The father continues the movement and says: "Yes, that's how it is for the cat, that's what you do to that kitty, never do that again, have you understood that?" 
The child cries even more violently and in the meantime nods 'yes'. And then Daddy lets go of his son's rib cage. The child pushes the father away and on the other hand he also moves towards the father (mixed feelings). The father puts his arms around his son's waist and comforts him: no more, huh?
When the child stops crying, he leaves his father's lap and the father continues to talk about his experiences to me. Then the phone rings. Father answers the phone. In the meantime I look at the boy and the cat. And then I see the following scene: the boy grabs the cat and puts both hands around the rib cage of the cat and starts squeezing firmly. This time it is serious. 
Where the first time there is an unintentional holding of the cat, now a conscious act is taking place: what does it do to you, kitty, if I press your rib cage together like my father did with me? I see it happen..., and jump up to free the pussy from his hands. The child lets go of the pussycat, because of my unexpected movement and at that moment the telephone conversation of the father also ends.

Yes, that's how it goes. From an early age, we unconsciously copy the behavior, habits and beliefs of our caregivers. As parents, we often don't realize how much impact our actions have on our children. We don't realize that what our children show us (openness, closedness, helpfulness, distrust, violence, etc.) is a mirror we give them by the way we live.

The father commands the child; that is the example he gives the child and the child commands the cat. The father wants to teach the child that it should lovingly interact with other living things (the cat) and uses violence (the opposite) to make this clear. The child copies the behavior of the father and treats the cat with violence. And possibly, at a different time in time, the "child" uses violence against his father or other people. And the father wonders why his son has become so aggressive.

Like father Like Son.

Patterns, customs, beliefs that are passed on from one generation to the next, without us being aware of that. Well, that's how it goes... until our heart opens and a wakening up from our unconscious state of being takes place. Then we can rewrite our history, then we are aware of that what is taking place in us and around us; we see through the beliefs on which our actions are based. Then it is possible to transform patterns and deep imprints of beliefs. Everything starts with 'awareness', with 'seeing'. 

Until that time...
Forgive them, for they don't know what they do.
Forgive us, for we don't know what we do.

To see is to be free.
LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes


When the heart is closed, the mind reigns.

When the heart is closed, the mind reigns.

We don't see reality as it is, it is the mind that determines what we see. And as long as the mind is at the helm, we look at reality from a colored pair of glasses. These glasses consist labels that we stick on ourselves, the other and the world.
Example: the world is unsafe, all those foreigners and refugees take over our country and commit violence against homosexuals and women.

In other words, we see reality through a veil of opinions, judgments, preferences and disapproval, religious beliefs and so on..., so we don't see reality as it is, but as we conceive it.
We are a prisoner of the mind, without realizing that.
And this is not an individual issue (some people have prejudices and others don't), no, it is a collective matter: humanity is not at home in the Heart.
We live from fear and distrust.
Fear of shortage: foreigners take our jobs and houses (conviction).
Fear of fellow man: Turkish people and Moroccans can't be trusted (profiteers and rioters).
Fear of condemnation and violence: as a homosexual we no longer walk hand in hand on the street, because we don't want to provoke others (conviction).
As long as we are not at home in the Heart, we are hurting ourselves and others. We are hurting ourselves with judgments about ourselves: the feeling of not being good enough, shame and guilt etc. 
And we hurt others, whom we label as 'profiteers', 'unwanted' and 'not welcome'.

Painful, because we are all people..., and no one is more or less than the other. Painful to be excluded as a Moroccan, Turk, refugee, gay, female, Jew... and so on. Cause: identification with the mind.

Identification with the mind means that we don't approach the other 'openly'. There is a veil of opinions between you and the other(s).
And this makes it so difficult to really understand each other, to meet each other from heart to heart. 
Consequence: discussion, wanting to be right (my point of view is true, yours not), misunderstandings (because we can't empathize with the other), quarrel, hatred, exclusion, war. 

We don't see the light in ourselves and therefore not in the other: the heart is closed. And we don't realize that we fill our ecosystem day in and day out with all our thoughts, opinions and judgments… 
We don't know better... From an early age we are brought up in the collective field of the mind. It is not surprising that the world looks like it is.

Do you recognize what I indicate? Do you recognize the tendency in yourself to continually value everything and everyone? 
Opinions all over the place...

Do you ever think about the impact of this tendency? The impact of all those judgments that we hold about ourselves and others? What does that do to us and to the other persons? Is it loving to criticize ourselves and others time and time again? 

How do we approach others when we assume that others are our enemy, not welcome? How do we approach others when we are afraid of others? What kind of energy do we transfer to others where they react on?

What does it do to Moroccans, Turks (etc.) and refugees, who are not allowed to participate in society? Is it loving to deal with fellow human beings in this way?

Do you ever reflect on the impact of all those convictions, opinions on society as a whole? And the world?

Well, the Mind versus the Heart.

Example: The polling station.
There is a man of immigrant origin with partner in a voting booth. 
The man wears a djellaba (long robe). There are some people waiting at the table where the ballots are handed out. The man of immigrant origin stands behind his partner, bent over her in the voting booth. 
A man, standing in the queue, speaks to the immigrant man with a loud, aggressive voice: 'Hey, what are you doing over there..., that isn't allowed at all..., you can't stand in the voting booth with someone else. A man who sits behind the table with the ballots, takes it over and says with firm charge: 'You are here in the Netherlands, you must comply with the rules of the Netherlands, it isn't allowed to be in the voting booth with two people. 
The waiting man takes over the baton again and says in a loud, aggressive tone: 'I don't know what you're doing there with that phone on the ballot, but that's forbidden.' 
To which the man of immigrant origin says: 'I help my wife, she can't read and write, and she also has the right to vote. 
The mood is charged and hostile.

Do you see the effect of the mind? The elaboration of judgments and opinions about the other? Any idea what images exist in the man, who is waiting in the queue, about the couple in the voting booth?

Possible images: 'Another foreigner who doesn't behave, who ignores the rules and then decides for his wife what she has to vote, she must certainly vote exactly what he deems good, all women of immigrants are being suppressed, just look, this is what happens here and now, we don't tolerate that.'

And what was the reality? The Muslim man helped his wife fill in the ballot. And the rule is that it isn't allowed that two people are in a voting booth. That's all. 

How would the situation have gone when the collective field is the Heart? 

And that's what I want to end this blog with: the Heart. 
There are people who receive refugees in their homes, there are people who guide refugees in the Netherlands, there are people who give Moroccans (etc.) a chance to participate in society, there are people who take an initiative to bridge the gap between population groups, a gap that is caused by the mind.

Not so long ago I watched a documentary: Nice People.
A documentary about a group of Somali immigrants in Borlänge, Sweden, who were be steamed in 2014 to participate in the world bandy band (a variant of ice hockey) in Russia as the national team of Somalia.
Look at the documentary from the Heart..., in my case the tears rolled down my cheeks. Wonderful to see and feel the effect of such an initiative on the immigrants and residents of the Borlänge. 
Google 'Nice People' or try this link: 

Finally, take a look at the way the mind works throughout the day. Observe all those opinions and judgments that go through you on a daily basis. Experience what it is like to live a day without judgments and opinions, to be present one day without preference or disapproval, to experience one day of your life from the Heart, out of compassion and openness. And if that doesn't work, then you may realize for the first time that you are a prisoner of the mind. 
Don't condemn yourself for that..., we are all ignorant of our true nature.
LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes


I am right, you see it wrong.

I'm right, you see it wrong ...

I recently watched a TV program. It was a group of young people from the Netherlands who stepped into the lives of young people in a third world country. Some young people from the Netherlands struggled with each other, in particular with each other's views on the lifestyle that the young people in the third world country lead. In addition, discussions arose about whether or not to eat meat and other issues. 

What I noticed was the judgment the young people had towards each other. With amazement I listened and watched their exchange and thought: "How is it possible that people don’t give each other the space to have a different opinion or lifestyle?" It is unbelievable..., so much pain and frustration, because we reject the opinion or lifestyle of the other person. So many problems in dealing with each other, because we don’t respect the other person’s experience, we think we know it better…, we think we have to correct and change the other persons view and lifestyle, because I am right, he/she is wrong. We think we know what is right or wrong for the young people in the third world.

I found it remarkable to note the change in me. In a distant past I was one of those young people with strong opinions, who went into a battle with others who thought otherwise, because I was right, they saw it wrong. What a difference between the past and how I look now. There is no fixed judgment in me anymore: one eats meat and feeds the bio-industry, the other doesn’t eat meat and is a member of the party for the animals; one person signs up for the navy or foreign legion, the other is against war or chooses development work or doctors without frontiers; one chooses 'hard work', the other opts for 'doing nothing' etc. 

All scenarios exist side by side, one scenario is not better than the other scenario, although that seems to be the case if you have a certain fixed perspective. The scenario’s exist, regardless of whether or not we have an opinion about it. 

But war, murder... that is terrible, right? Yes, it is very painful to see and feel that we have become so alienated from our nature, our essence. 
I see only one fundamental solution: that we come home to our-Self, our heart, then there is no enemy anymore, because the enemy in us is seen through. Then we don’t have to project our dissatisfaction, frustration, fear of lack and the like on the outside world (refugees, gays, unemployed). Then we live in harmony with each other and with nature.

In addition, we can open ourselves to people who live and think differently instead of listening on the basis of 'I'm right, you see it wrong'.
LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes