As a parent we experience an emotional range during one day which is so rich it could easily be enough to fill a whole week. I find this exciting, a real privilege!
Especially with younger children between ages 2-7, they live creatively so much in the present moment, it is staggering. One minute they are in JOY with their toys, the next second something does upset them and their little world seems to fall apart, they are beyond sad. They show us how raw, unscripted and deep how they feel and what is present for them. As a parent this is extremely delicious when they pour all their love onto us, isn't it. Mmmh, simply divine those yummy kisses, their playfulness connected to an endless source of energy, and their curiosity to learn and grow mentally. It is awesome to be a parent.
Then there are other times. Times is which we find ourselves irritated, frustrated, annoyed, angry or even helpless when our children 'play up'. (And yes, I also had moments when I retrieved into the bathroom to catch my breath, think of mundane stuff to calm my nerves)
What do I mean by 'play up'. In my observation from own experience and friends, simply put: our children act a certain way, do anything or something which we regard as inappropriate, unnecessary, unexpected. Therefore we think they are playing up, acting out their desire.....and we as parents get triggered and this obviously results in the behaviour we then display. Now, is that really true or is something else at play?
"The trigger is never the child....it is us."
Now this is interesting, and I heard this first from Dr. Shafali Tsabary in her book 'The Awakened Family', as I listened to her audiobook, and literally had to stop my car to digest that sentence: "The trigger is never the child...it is us." She further explains:
How our children reflect our own inner disconnect back to us. Our inner storm happens when we are not in touch with our solid core, When we operate like our children out of the feeling of lack, in the absence of our real self, we rely on our ego to help us feel our identity, and this is picked up in our own childhood as layers of programming and conditioning.
Until as a parent we get grounded in our core, our children will inevitably trigger our insecurities. This is painful for us, and must be deflected in some way. Every time we act like a storm cloud, overwhelmed by a dark cloud of energy, we glimpse just how disconnected we are from our deepest self.
The beauty of our children is that they mirror the storm in us, back to us. the more we storm the more they thunder back, and show us how we are engaging with them from an ungrounded state. This is not always a loud scenario it can also be lived out silently, this requires a high level of awareness to spot that it is happening. An unconscious grimace of the mother, and the son instantly slumps the shoulders, or the father tightens his fist and the children immediately stop in their tracks.
Only when we become aware of the subtle shift in energy in us as a parent, and watch their domino effect on our children state of being, will we enter a more conscious state of being and parenting.
Shefali believes that the deep attachment we have to our children is one of life's most powerful ways of pushing us to this level of awakening. How wonderful that our children have such an effect on us, as to cause us to consider doing such painfully introspective inner work. They are ours and yet they do not belong to us. We get a glimpse to what many traditions call SURRENDER. This involves fully giving ourselves of to the present moment without imposing conditions or control for the future.
Life may rarely follow our plans we are fully capable, of equipping ourselves to meet its challenges, when we undergo this metamorphoses life takes on an unsurpassed GLORY as we liberate ourselves from attachment to rigid ideals and future goals, we are able to engage with ourselves and our families with SPONTANEITY, JOY and a feeling of LIGHTNESS.
So next time your children no matter their age asks you to 'play with me NOW', 'can I have an icecream/iphone' be mindful and become aware to your reaction and response. Notice what is triggered inside of you. How do you react when your child 'doesn't want to do the dishes, doesn't want to attend the next drama/sport/music session, doesn't want to say thank you to an unwanted present, doesn't want to go on holiday with you, wants to eat with their fingers, wants to be honest, wants to rebel, decides to scream in the airport lounge,.... ...simply check in with yourself and become aware of what your emotional response is, and what is triggered inside of you instead of looking for the lack in your child. think about it in most cases the child is asking for LOVE.
And remember to engage with your child in the present moment. That is the only moment we have to experience.
Links to Dr. Shefali:
Book the Awakened family
short video 'When children trigger our own insecurities:'
Other parenting book I keep recommending:
If you are interested to discover your boundaries, conditioning and programming in a coaching session to free yourself from limiting beliefs and behaviours, contact me:
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