Motherhood is Messy Bring a Mop!
Whoever said, "Don't cry over spilled milk" never stayed home all day with a bunch of children who just spilled their milk for the tenth time. The first spill is easy. "No worries, let's just mop that up." One of the greatest challenges for me as an "Enlightened Momma" is cleaning up at the end of the day when my bucket is empty. Sometimes a good cry is all I really need and there is never enough time or space for me to get that in at least not in the moment when I need it most. I am working on it and I know that day will come and when it does, I will certainly miss the busy-ness of now.
I have three children ages 19 months, 6 and 9. Each one is completely different. They are the Sun, the Moon and the Stars to me. They are by far, my greatest teachers. Although, sometimes I feel like I must have missed something at the administration building when the Course Curriculum was designed. As I ask, "Really! This again!" Yesterday was one of those days that is in need of a little internal work to create some external shifts!
Anytime we experience an upset either within our thoughts or out in the world, there is an opportunity for learning. I am sharing a little of my inner-process with you because I have found inner processing to be one of the greatest gifts that I can give to myself especially on my most messy days...and I have no doubt that every Momma has them. We can't prevent the spills in life but we can always bring a mop.
The best place to start is always at the beginning by acknowledging and observing the event that was uncomfortable.
STEPS YOU CAN USE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS TO HELP YOU REPAIR THE RUPTURE - This practice is a blending of The University of Santa Monica's Self Counseling Process and Echo Parenting and Education's Model and My Own Inner Process. I have condensed this process and intend on sharing more in future blogs. Feel free to adapt it in a way that resonates with you...
1. START WITH WHAT HAPPENED:
Last night I was really angry with my oldest son. I asked him several times to get off his i-pad. He told me he would and then when I came into the room 15 minutes later he was still on it. I asked him again and then he threw a fit. He wouldn't listen to me so I took the i-pad from him. Things got pretty heated and I was feeling really angry with him so I sent him to his room.
2. INNER CONVERSATION STARTERS:
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR OWN FEELINGS AND TAKE 100% OWNERSHIP FOR HOW YOU FEEL...nobody made you do it. Your feelings are yours and you have a choice in how you choose to see the situation. Often we want to point fingers at everyone else. It really is so much easier to assume that everything is everyone else's fault. "Ignorance is bliss." The problem with that is we can't do too much about everyone else. Real change and progress only comes when we love, accept and tidy up the mess inside. Ghandhi was on to something when he talked about being the change you want to see in the world.
For the readers, Know that My NOW is pretty great and I am giving you a quick summary of my yesterday. If you are interested in inner conversation work then I highly recommend spending extra time and space either on paper, in meditaiton or anywhere that you have time to practice listening to your thoughts to really elaborate on what comes up for you in service to letting go of any junk in your trunk.
What was I feeling? What was I needing? What judgments did I have. What expectations did I have? Give your feelings a voice.
I was feeling really angry, tired and frustrated. I was needing to be heard and respected. I was judging him and feeling like there must be someting really wrong with him. He should listen and be respectful to me especially after all that I do for him. I am his mother. He just thinks he can say and do whatever he wants. I am spoiling him.
For the purpose of finding peace, it is helpful to tune in to the needs and feelings of your child. Connection comes at the point when two paths meet.
What do you think he might have been feeling and needing?
He really needs a lot of autonomy, freedom and patience. He was feeling hurt, angry and he thought I was bossing him around.
WHAT WERE YOU REALLY WANTING TO HAPPEN?
I WANTED him to listen to me. And, I also wanted to be patient, loving and kind but I wasn't doing that. I really want to make sure my children behave in a way that is respectful to other human beings...expecially me.
ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY JUDGMENTS OR MISINTERPRETATIONS OF REALITY THAT YOU MIGHT BE HOLDING ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR SON?
-a judgment is any expectation that things SHOULD BE different than how they are
After the fact, I was really judging myself as a complete and utter failure. I don't like getting angry and I don't think grabbing his i-pad and sending him to his room is in alignment with anything that I believe in. The misinterpretation of reality is that I should be able to control my child's behavior and my own at all times.
FIND YOUR INNER FRIEND WHO SEES THE BEST IN YOU AND GIVE HER A CHANCE TO HAVE A SAY!
There is a sweentess and loving presence in everyone. It's the voice that wants to be heard.
It sounds like you were just really frustrated and needing to be heard. Do you think you can give yourself a little love instead of beating yourself up? It also sounds like your son is needing the same thing. It sounds like you were doing the best you could in that moment with the energy that was available to you at that time.
3. FORGIVE YOURSELF and YOUR CHILD!!!
I forgive myself for judging myself and my son...
Place your hands on your heart. Close your eyes. Take a slow deep breath. Soak in all the love you can for yourself and your son. Forgiveness is an action. We use words for it AND in reality it is a release of old energy. You know you have found it when the physical body softens.
4. FOCUS ON THE TRUTH!
WHEN YOU LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, WHAT DO YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE!
My son is reflecting back to me my own need to be in control of my life. Control is an illusion of the ego. Love is a manifestation of the Soul. Every day is an opportunity to practice loving each other no matter what the behavior is. I do love him no matter what. And, I can practice using other strategies that feel better for me while still assisting him in learning how to behave in a respectful way to me. We are both learning and growing together.
CAN YOU LOVE YOURSELF?
YES, he's teaching me that!
5. MOVE FORWARD!
THE BEST WAY TO GROW IS UP!
Can you think of anyways to support yourself and your son?
Yes, the end of the day is really hard for me and sometimes I try to squeeze too much in. I will continue to practice being mindful of my breath. And practice giving empathy while setting limits for screen time. I ALSO, will practice giving myself empathy and a little extra love each day, too.
6. TAKE A BOW!
CELEBRATE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO BE HONEST, TRUE AND A STUDENT OF LOVE!