When I adopted my daughter I was SURE I had it all together. I was going to be the best parent in the world and I was READY for my mission. So, when I found myself in the weeds struggling to get my 4-year-old to listen, I noticed that I was withdrawing love and protecting my heart. This led to a deep inquiry about what was going on inside my heart and why did I feel the need to protect it from this beautiful being that I so longed to give it to?

One of the main reasons I adopted my daughter was to give and receive love. And yet, it felt like when I offered my big beautiful heart to her it hit up against her protection and bounced back. Feelings of rejection and abandonment arose and instead of turning towards her, I turned against myself believing I was a rejectable person.

The pain in my heart that I’d held down since childhood was rising to the surface and honestly, I didn’t know what to do with that pain except to blame my daughter. I closed my heart to seeing hers.

Maybe, you’ve had the same experience?

Like you didn’t even know you had certain pain points until your child brushed up against them?

The pain only increased the more I saw it as her fault refusing to take responsibility and ownership for my pain. I expected her to be different and offering the love I was seeking while refusing to open my heart until she did. I found myself acting as the child and expected her to be the adult.

Over time the pain from closing my heart grew to create a distance between my heart and my daughter’s that was unbearable.

I chose to take responsibility for my actions and slowly dismantled the protection I’d needed as a child showing up with my open heart for my child.

I’d forgotten the power of my vulnerable heart longing to give and receive love. This is what parenting has given me, an opportunity to remember my vulnerable heart opening to all that arises.

I slowly felt safe enough to share my unbridled love without needing my child to receive it in the way I thought she should. I opened to fill myself with the exquisite vulnerability I’d hidden away.

You can turn back in and offer yourself the gift of your vulnerability which eventually will lead you to sitting it the seat of kindness for yourself and your child.

What a gift.