My middle daughter, Catherine, came home from camp yesterday, at first, with a pensive silence.
Catherine is my extraordinarily independent, I-can-manage-this-myself child. It is my belief that all children bring a “flavor” of Love into the world. I believe Catherine’s gift to humanity is her natural nobility, as her default choices are always aligned with integrity, honor, decency, and truth.
But yesterday, something was off.
After I picked up my girls from camp, I sat down on the backyard patio, and began to work on an art project. I was waiting for a call from my mom about retrieving my son, Will. He had been at my parent’s (Nana and Pop Pop’s) house for the past week. And, to make it easier on everyone, we had a halfway meeting point on the turnpike where we would “make the exchange”.
So, expecting the call at any moment, and knowing that I couldn’t delve into anything more time consuming, I started to work on one of my many art/creative projects, as I always have a multitude going on at once. I can easily pick one up and put it down…they are just my little “happy” time.
Catherine walked out of the back door and onto the patio carrying a bowl of ice cream and a spoon. She was very upset about something that happened at camp but was so overwhelmed with disappointment, frustration and hurt that she was having trouble expressing it to me. In the interest of sparing you the gory details, the end results was ice cream on me and the ground and my illustration markers were scattered all over the lawn…all representations of Catherine’s anger and pain.
So, I said nothing, at first. I was holding space for Catherine to move beyond the reaction of her ego to find her heart, express her feelings to me, and move through them as an experience that cannot define her.
So, I waited. Not from a place of judgement or disapproval, but rather from a space of neutrality towards the behavior and Love towards Catherine.
I am not always able to maintain being centered and aligned within the chaos of life, but I noticed that the more that I practice this, the less likely I will “lose control”and react from the perspective of ego
Within just a few minutes, Catherine had quieted her racing thoughts, and was able to describe to me what had occurred that day and how she felt as a results. We talked and walked through the situation again, validating her feelings and considering how it would look from a perspective of wholeness.
The point is, that in my experience, when my kids experience hurt, and come home and express it through behavior, I do not find consequences and the resulting shame to be effective. My goal is to assist my children in building a foundation to help them mature emotionally, through self-awareness, self-love, and self responsibility.
Obviously, loving boundaries are a necessity. And, allowing children to learn through experiencing the consequences of their actions in a safe environment is crucial as well.
That said, I see so many grown-ups suffering from low self-esteem and self-worth; layers of pain, which often started accumulating in childhood based upon their inability to express and resolve feelings of lack. I see so many humans completely out of touch with their emotions, as we have been taught that any emotion related to fear should be pushed away, based upon the punishment we experienced upon their expression. I am not by any means suggesting that we should run around expressing our fear or lack in any way we want and at any time, but rather I see the need to provide our children with the foundation that most adults did not receive. Previous generations did the best that they could with their understandings of emotions and parenting. But, we are evolving. That’s what we do.
So now, I see that if we provide our children with the understanding that all emotions are valid. So, by all means feel them. But, we can show them through our own behavior as well as working with them each time the opportunity presents itself, how to experience fear and all of its aspects, move through those feelings and then shift their perspective to Love. We, as parents, have the opportunity to assist and guide our children in acknowledging any feelings of fear in a safe and healthy manner, rather than teaching them to ignore or bury their feelings of “not enough”, or shaming them through consequences.
And then…and this is big…we can give them the perspective of Love. We can help them see that they are each worthy and abundantly loved aspects of creation just because they exist and no one and nothing can take that away from them.
We can help them see that they have the power of choice; the power to choose their perspective of either fear or Love. And, each time they are confronted with fear, they have the freedom to acknowledge their feelings and then shift their perspective to Love. Everything we experience, no matter how it feels in the moment is a tool to lead us back to our essence and true self, which is Love. So, when we choose to see all experiences from that perspective, we are choosing ourselves. We are choosing Love; and thereby creating more aspects of Love in our life.
We have the opportunity to give our children profound gifts.
We can give our children the understanding that they are Love. That they are equally worthy and loved aspects of creation. That they are innately abundant and supported by the universe. That they don’t have to compete with anyone else for this abundance, as all aspects of creation can have anything that they want and all at the same time. That is how abundant we are. We can give our children the power of choice, by allowing them to express their feelings without shame, and then shift their perspective to the truth of wholeness, worthiness, abundance and Love. We can demonstrate this truth through our own behavior as living examples seem to be the most powerful of teachers. And, as we ourselves live all of these truths and experience the sheer joy that goes along with being aligned with Love, our children will learn, grow and then blossom into an unprecedented emotional maturity.
Now that is a paradigm shift.
So, I say, when our children are hurting, love them more…..