Happy New Year! We made it through 2021. Phew!
Who would have thought we’d be where we are after 2 years. My, my….sending so much love and support to you for riding the waves of parenting during this challenging time.
As a teenager, my daughter expressed her BIG feelings by telling me all the things I’d done wrong.
I’d either lash out or collapse into a sniveling ball.
Acting out or acting in were the two ways I behaved when taking things personally.
My daughter helplessly looked on and said, “Mom, stop taking things so personally” and of course, I yelled back saying, “But it is personal!”
One day that scene was playing out and as I heard myself saying “but it is personal” I witnessed her collapsing and giving up.
In that very moment I heard a voice inside that said “Leslie, it’s not all about you. She is trying to share her internal world with you.” When I took it personally I made it all about me.
The reason we find it challenging not to take things personally is that when our children lash out it feels personal because of the story we’ve told ourselves about us.
We tell ourselves stories about what it means when our children say things about us, or when they won’t listen to us. We beat ourselves up and believe something must be wrong with us to have such “bratty” kids. It is a story about US.
The funny thing is on the positive side we make it about us also. When our children share loving behaviors we tell ourselves a story about how lovable we are.
Stories are stories and even though they are entertaining at times they are rarely true! Believing everything is about us keeps us from establishing healthy boundaries and therefore being able to separate out what is about us and what is about our child.
Take time this week to notice when you take things personally. Notice if you are getting emotionally triggered- PAUSE and ask yourself what personal story is being activated?
Once you discover the story ask yourself “is that true?”
Our children are truly not out to get us- they are sharing their internal experience and how we perceive this is up to us.