Welcome to all of the new folks who have made your way here via the Happily Family conference!
This week we’re talking about how you treat yourself.
When my kiddos were little I was really focused on having a healthy relationship with them. I wanted to be the best mom ever- that they knew without a doubt that they were so very loved!
I didn’t know anything about how to turn back and have a relationship with myself. I was not aware of all my interactions with myself that were running in the background of my life.
I had this whole internal experience that I was unaware of- I had so wisely learned to focus on the external as a little one. It was second nature to keep my attention on them and their behavior and attempt to manage that.
The gift of my SafeSeat practice opened up my awareness of how this was working inside of me. It offered a really beautiful space to cultivate a loving relationship with internal parts of me that were longing to be seen and heard. It was a really different way to be, to put my attention inside instead of focusing outside. .
When I did it was shocking to witness all the hate and aggression that lived in there! I saw how in stressful moments that aggression often snuck up and out in reaction towards my kiddos- even when I had all this effort invested in making sure they behaved in a way that it didn’t. It got in the way of my true love.
It’s important to remember that you weren’t born with the concepts that you were mean, rude, aggressive or selfish. None of those things existed in you naturally when you were a baby. You didn’t know that if you reached out to get your needs met, or following your desires, that you would be labeled. Over time, to take care of yourself, you began to self-aggress toward those parts of yourself and the behaviors they inspired to keep them in check.
The tricky part is that those repressed needs, wants and desires didn’t just go away. They’re still tucked way down inside there somewhere you put them when you were young and they were not met with love.
Now as a parent, when your child exhibits similar behaviors, driven by similar internal experiences, you sense that energy and your safety strategy takes over- you overpower them to try and bring comfort to your overloaded system. You control, punish, consequence or emotionally manipulate them so they will stop their behavior and then you can relax.
It’s really hard! So understandable <3
So in Purejoy we support you in turning inward , to your internal experience, to all those places you had to leave yourself to stay safe in the love and see what lives there.
For me, when I was able to do this, I realized I was controlling my kiddos so I didn’t have to feel all those repressed and abandoned feelings. If I could just get them to do what I wanted I could relax, be better, and feel like a good mama. I found myself ascribing labels to my kids the same way I was told my energy was not ok as a kiddo.
Turning back inward towards all those feelings and choosing to cultivate a loving relationship with myself I was able to show up in the moment for all the feelings my kiddos experienced without judgment, without labeling them and their experience.
When a behavior shows up that you don’t like, or triggers discomfort inside , ask yourself- where does that live inside of me? How am I treating myself? Am I being kind to my desires? Am I kind towards my needs? Approaching Christmas will probably give you some opportunities to practice, yeah?
What I found was that the support I was willing to give myself was also what would support my kids, to keep my heart open and in love with all of who they are.