Live What You Know

Waking up is more than it seems. You KNOW more than you've ever been "taught"! You chose to be here now. Make yourTRUEself proud!

Tag: Mother

Our Family School of Compassion…Love IS Always The Answer

“The family is a school of compassion because it is here that we learn to live with other people.”  –Karen Armstrong

My sweet six-year-old boy has been stressed lately.  It has been noticeably escalating and it has been heavy on my heart.  To see his little shoulders up so high and tight and hear the sound of his voice so heavy with stress while responding to everyday things has been tearing at my soul.  He has been frustrated and easily irritated.  It has all been very out of character for this light in our lives.  I can remember how this phase of life is stressful…in between the cute tiny guy and the little kid with budding responsibilities and expectations, etc., so I was trying to accept it and go with the flow of it a bit.  I do believe firmly in guiding him towards his personal best though, so I am sure he has been hearing plenty from me about self-control, etc., along the way.  His stress wasn’t huge…just there…and taking my boy further and further away from the joy he so easily resided in before.  As I tried to be in the flow and avoid the fear of this being the new normal with him I kept it real with myself, knowing that I am the mother of our environment and I must be contributing to this in some way.

One night this week I found myself just about in tears from what felt was becoming a different relationship between he and I…we are very close and I just felt so sad about the new disconnection.  I just missed him so much and it felt like he was constantly on me about one thing or another…just kind of checking with me all the time saying “What is it Mom?” when I wasn’t even thinking anything and taking every move I made personally as if I had some serious issue with him.  It was like being under a microscope and it was dreadful.  I felt tight all over and not the best version of my mommy self as I tucked him in.  Tuck-in time was even different.  Ugh.

After getting him to bed, I shed a few tears to clear out my energy and bring myself back to the present moment…and, of course, made the connection.  All that I had been feeling from him must be exactly how he had been feeling from me.  Although I had been trying to help with his stress in various ways and at times just accepting it and going with the flow…I had been adding to it.  I just knew I could help ease his suffering and in the process ease mine…

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  –Dalai Lama

To be honest, I didn’t give it much thought after that.  Answers like the one I needed don’t come from thoughts.  I went strictly with the heart on this one.  It was perfect.  He came into my room first the next morning, which is unusual around here…my daughter is the morning person.  He came first and alone.  I scooped him into my arms and without having planned it or rehearsed it or even thought about it in any way…I poured my heart out in just way he needed to hear it and could understand it.  While holding him tight, I told him…”Do you know that I have never ever been disappointed in you?  I have never been.  I have always been so very proud of you.  You are such an amazing person and you are just the best thing in the world to me.  You are my heart and I love you with everything I am.  I have never been disappointed by anything you have done and I just adore and appreciate you so very much.” …I went on to explain that I still need to be the mommy and help him make good choices, but I truly feel only joy and gratitude for all that he is to me.  I asked him if he knew the part about me never being disappointed in him…he said he didn’t.  It all made sense.

He’s been getting bigger and he is preparing for more expectations and responsibilities.  He was feeling that we were disappointed in him for the first time in his life.  What a terrible feeling.  That is what takes the joy and spark out of the kids…feeling that they disappoint.  It is hard to make the transition from baby to little kid.  Love and compassion are the only way.  Since we had that discussion he has been back…in a big way.  He immediately expanded and softened and all the stress came out of him.  His eyes have been sparkling, he has been giggling and going with the flow of life again.  Hurray!  When I tucked him in at the end of the night, I asked him his favorite part of the day, he said, “I just loved hugging Mommy.”  We had such a cuddly happy day and we were reconnected and back to ourselves.  We have a few days under our belts now and we’re better for the experience.

I know I never want to allow my kids to feel I am disappointed in them again.  I never was and he still felt it in some way.  It’s worth taking the time to tell the children that I’m not disappointed just to make sure they don’t take my mothering personally.  I know I must do everything I can to live in that space that isn’t reacting to life…that calm force in the kids lives that can make them feel safe, loved and connected no matter what comes our way.

Mommy Reality Check – Today my daughter, who has been the picture of happiness the whole time her brother was stressed showed signs of a big case of bad energy.  I felt the shift and realized that even though she loves us both dearly, it was hard for her to feel he and I so close again.  Some part of her thought she would lose something.  I did everything I could to connect with her and reassure her that she means the world to me just like him.  We discussed how we always want all of our team members in this family to feel their very best and having one of us stressed out in any way is bad for all of us, etc.  She tried, but her energy lagged here and there and required lots of talks.  Whew, motherhood is a major spiritual practice.  I am up for it and so very grateful for the gift that it is.  Sometimes I feel like I have been squeezed dry of all my energy, but I always replenish and get back to spreading love.

Love Story – when I shared the discussion my son and I had about me never being  disappointed in him with my husband that night, I saw tears in his eyes.  He was visibly touched for us both and his deep love and compassion showed.  We had a great talk about it, it was lovely.

“The dew of compassion is a tear.”  –Lord Byron

This family is a school of compassion.  All families are.  What a blessing!

Wishing you all love, compassion, joy, cuddles and a family full of team members that know they haven’t disappointed each other, ever.

The “Sweet Little One” Inside Me… and You

I can remember a time during childhood (well, it lasted a long while) when my mom would say to me after some silly choice, bad decision or rude interaction, “What happened to sweet little Stacy?”  I heard this for a long time whenever I kind of got out of line or needed some parenting I suppose.  In the beginning this question really upset me and made me feel like I wasn’t a nice person.  Over time it haunted me even more and I began to ponder it myself.  Had I quit being sweet?  Was I a bad person?  During adolescence I distinctly remember her asking this question again and I had this fury inside where I screamed, “She NEVER existed, all I have ever heard is ‘where is she?’, she was never here, it’s just me, quit asking.”  (I don’t think I had the courage to say it aloud to her, I think I imagined I did, but didn’t…I probably played that scene in my head over and over, I’m really not sure if I ever discussed it with her).

Now I am the mom to an eight-year-old daughter.  I sometimes wonder what has happened to her.  I wonder where my sweet baby has gone.  That is how I became reminded of the question about “sweet little Stacy” above.  I am truly grateful I had the experience of thinking about who I was.  I am so glad my mother asked this of me and especially now, at this point in life, I am truly grateful my mom continued to direct that question to me.  I can go really deep with this question now and I am thrilled with the answer.  I almost feel like picking up the phone to call my mother and tell her that I found her after all these years…I have found Sweet Little Stacy.  She is there in me and she is in you too!  I will explain…

First, let me say, my daughter is amazing.  She is so many wonderful things…too many to list here.  Because I am her mom, I also see another side to her.  The mom gets to see it all.  I can see she is growing and changing.  Because of all the reading about spiritual things I do, I can see that the ego is trying to take hold and her identity is changing.  I can see when it happens and I am also painfully aware that I am the one she is most comfortable lashing out at.  She is so kind in her heart…its just me she will melt down with and show another side to, growing up is tough.  I have heard myself say to her so many times, “you would never treat anyone else that way, only me.”  Sounds a lot like the question my own mother had of me.  I am sure I have said even worse to her in tough moments (forgive me sweet girl).  This parenting stuff is not easy.  When I can lean back and look at things I can see what is happening and not take it personally.  Other times, it hurts so bad.

It’s tough to juggle knowing if we’re parenting or judging.  I have been thinking about this recently and trying to watch it with her.  I don’t want to judge her or make her into me.  I want to help her be the best version of herself.  I want to honor her growing and help her learn to make good choices.  If she feels judged by me, she won’t be able to feel my love, she will turn towards her fear instead.  Oh, how I want to be the mother that doesn’t judge.  I am so trying to figure out how to parent well without judging.

Recently, she lashed out at me because she was struggling learning something.  Often, when something seems hard, her fear brings out the worst.  Understandable.  Anyway, like I said, I struggle with allowing her to be herself and still guide her towards making good choices.  After appealing to her with explanations of kindness, etc., she just kept pushing, I allowed her actions to hit my buttons and I decided she needed a break and told her she would be in timeout.  In fact, I gave her a double timeout.  This would mean 16 minutes to think about her actions.  As she stormed down the stairs in anger, I had a change of heart.  I sent her brother to tell her that mom had changed her mind, this gave me a minute to breathe and pause and choose well (that non-reactionary living I am striving for).  When she returned to me, I said to her, “You get to choose who you want to be.”  That was all I said, she returned to her work.

Within a few minutes, she came to me and gave me a sweet kiss and hug and apologized.  She had found her “sweet” and turned towards love.  I knew she could do it!  We talk to the kids so much about character and our choices.  We explain that your choices make who you are.  We have so many ways of explaining it to the best of our ability.  I also believe that people treat you how you let them treat you and I don’t want to raise kids that are rude and disrespectful to their mother.  Not just for me, but I know they won’t feel good about themselves if they choose that.  Allowing my sweet daughter the space to find who she wants to be on her own with just the right amount of guidance and a big dash of modeling my own good choices seems to be the recipe.  For now.

I am going to continue pondering parenting without judging.  I think it’s worth the effort to try.  As I embrace the freedom from being right or wrong, I do want to impart some of this concept to the kids.  It is tough because they so badly want to be right…all the time.  I told them recently that I really don’t want to parent every single little thing and be right and make them wrong…but what I do want to do is parent for peace.  I explained that even when they are corrected or get in trouble, they really haven’t done anything wrong, but we must try to work towards creating more peace and harmony.  If we’re behaving in a way that creates more peace and harmony, then there won’t be much chance of getting into trouble.  As we discussed this more and exactly what harmony means…we were turned to look outside at nature and observe the perfect harmony all around us.  I love how the answers are always there in the perfection of nature.

Mom – THANK YOU so much for guiding me towards finding “Sweet Little Stacy” – slowly over time I am finding her in the essence of my true nature.  What a gift it is to know she does exist and she is there in the purest form in me just as she is in everyone else.

Wishing you all a quiet moments with the Sweet Little One inside you.  Joy!

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