Last night, we went for ice cream. It was late, and we were both tired, but got excited about getting a treat. When we got to the store, my daughter decided she wanted candy instead of ice cream and SNAP (see other post) I took a picture of my thought. I agreed to ice cream, not candy. Here we were in the store and I wasn’t willing to take another picture so I said no! She began to show strong feelings about not getting what she wanted and I looked at her and said, “sounds like you don’t want any ice cream, so let’s go.” I turned and started walking out the door, actually feeling quite at peace with my decision. Well, she went balistic and rightfully so. I had promised ice cream and now because I didn’t like her response I was leaving. Since I had drawn a line in the sand, there was no going back. Would I have done it different? Yes.
What I did do, was work with “what is” in myself and my daughter, without judgment or shame. I kept breathing as she was raging in the car. I heard it all, “I hate you, I’m never going to care about you again.” I’m going to hit you in the face when we get home.” She was irate. I amazingly enough, was able to stay present and hear her without defending or justifying my decision. I saw my mind, working overtime trying to “do the right thing” and yet as I continued to stay present, and drive, I felt available to such intense emotions.
I followed her lead. If I talked, she told me to shut up. If I shut up, she prodded me to talk. I truly entered the present moment and let all of my judgments of either of us go. It was powerful and kept going until we got home. As we entered the house, she was still raging and I began to go upstairs. She screamed, “Mommy, stay here with me, I want to play a game with you.” So the next thing I know we are playing Connect 4 and having a blast. We are laughing, she is cuddling and our connection had deepened to a place of peace and calm. Through embracing what is, in both of us, instead of judging the decision I made as bad or wrong, we both found our way back to joy!