What is Love? (Baby don’t hurt me…no more…)

what is love

One of the pieces of advice I often received as a first time mother – was that if I just “love my child” = everything will be alright.

While the advice is well meant, it’s also extremely vague and abstract. Does Loving my child mean giving him lots of hugs and kisses? Does Loving my child mean that no matter what I do, it will all be okay in the end – because I ‘Love’ him and in the name of Love, all will be forgiven?

What is Love?

For some, Love means protecting those who they hold dear to the extent that they are controlling and limiting their child or life partner – out of fear that anything might happen to them that might ‘take them away’. Or perhaps we fear that they will make mistakes that they will regret and want to be involved in every single decision their life contains. While well meant, it has dark consequences.

For some, Love means making another the center of their universe, putting the loved one first, and self always second. While the loved one shines on an altar of worship, self diminishes and compromises every day – while the loved one feels smothered and in need of space.

For some, Love means beings hard on your child or partner – even if it takes aggressive physical measures – because the world is a hard and cruel place, and the sooner they know their place the better they will be off for it in the long run. The hurt now is justified by hurt prevented later. It’s only because ‘I love them’.

For some, Love means being super conscious of every single move one’s loved one makes. Keeping an eye out for competition, drowning in one’s own paranoia and suspicion, being strangled by jealousy when your loved one spends time with someone else.

For some, Love means leaving another alone, giving them freedom without boundaries – where even where the behaviour becomes obviously questionable or abusive, the loving one won’t step in out of fear of coming over ‘controlling’. Her mother used to love her through control you see.

For some, Love means investing a lot of money in another, getting the best and most expensive education – at the expense of their dreams. Because you know what the world values and while deep down you know ‘it’s not right’ – you’ve given up on your dreams a long time ago and submitted to the idea that the world is just the way it is and we better just deal with it.

 

Love – has many faces. And mostly our definitions of love are born from a reaction to the type of ‘Love’ we received as a child. If our parents were controlling, we will tend to give more freedom (and often don’t set boundaries where they are needed, in fear of being anything like are awful parents – God forbid! As much as we try to learn from the ways we’ve received Love, we tend to remain stuck by throwing ourselves into the extreme opposite polarity in the spectrum – where we still make mistakes and create consequences, but simply of a different kind.

In many if not most cases – Love remains but a feeling, a good intention – but the actions and consequences that follow pave the way to hell.

What does it mean to really live LOVE in action? What does it mean to TRULY LOVE your child?

  • For myself Love, means living by the principle of what is Best for All – guiding me in thought, word and deed. Where I not only look at myself, but consider everyone involved in my reality and how my actions may affect others presently or in the future. That whatever decision I make in the end result in the best possible outcome for all. So I can stand as an example for my child to treat others as I would like to be treated.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate myself as all the aspects that currently make-up ‘me’ so that I can take responsibility for any behaviour or perceptions that do not serve me nor my environment. So I may stand as an example of self-accountability to my son.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate all that is presented to me and to keep what’s good. I am open to perspectives and what others have to share and to test things out to come to my own conclusions. So I may stand as an example to my son for critical common sense reasoning and to not take anyone’s word on face value, not even my own.
  • Love, means to be present and aware in every single moment so that I may direct myself and my reality to the best of my ability. So I may stand as an example of self-love to my son and show in fact that he is to be taken seriously.
  • Love, means to admit my mistakes and to stand up from then rather than throwing my towel into the ring. To change myself to the best of my ability, so I may stand as an example of endurance, persistence and faith in self for my son.
  • Love, means to take care of my physical body, my temple to ensure that I may express myself as my body to the best of my ability. So I may stand as a nurturing example for my son.

This wasn’t always my definition of Love or go-to practical guide of action. I struggled with my own inner demons disguised as Love. Traveling and working through your inner landscape can be challenging and difficult. If you enjoy taking on these type of challenges, check out this free course: http://lite.desteniiprocess.com/

What is your definition of Love?Which faces of Love have you battled and struggled with?

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IceBoy

ICEBOY(1)

Cesar decided to test out the pool waters in winter season… Just before we went to Europe the sun was out a lot and we’d swim in the pool practically every day. When he saw his blow up crocodile in the laundry room, he excitedly asked if we could go for a swim. I explained to him that the water was going to be much colder than we are used to and that I am not going to swim, but that if he really wants – he can give it a go. Down we went, to the pool – armed with towel and crocodile. He put his feet in the water and said ‘Woooah, ok that’s very cold’. For a moment I thought he was going to back off then and there. But nope, he followed with ‘Ok, put my crocodile over me’. Another deep breath followed as he pushed himself off the step to float into the water.

‘Oooh, too cold, too cold – I only want little bit of cold’ he says and peddles back to the step to get out. He does this whole process one more time to make that indeed, the water is too cold for him.

Cesar has surprised me and many others in his ability to withstand temperatures and climate conditions that no other ‘sane’ person would consider to face naked – or with very little clothes (only because he had to of course, if he could do things his way he’d go out in public spaces naked).

The moment he could express his choices more, certain things started happening. With increased motor function, came increased ‘tap’ control. No more nice warm relaxing co-baths for us – ice cold baths became the norm. (Needless to say, we soon started taking our own, separate baths and showers – occasionally sharing a lukewarm version we could both kind of agree on).

Diapers? Clothes – why wear them? I don’t see the dogs wearing any – and besides, it limits my movement!

We go out to play in the fields around midday. I put a hat on myself and Cesar, which has become pretty futile because he keeps taking it off. Fine – get a sunburn and heatstroke so you can learn the dangers of the sun! (Never gets heatstroke or sunburn…. In evenings I suffer from headaches and dehydration even though I covered myself up, used sunscreen and drank plenty of water).

Cesar really started pushing all my ideas about the limits of my physical reality and whether they were really limits or conditioned beliefs that I simply went along with.

I started playing with putting on less layers, going into the pool when it’s just a tab bit below my comfort level, stop complaining about whether it is too hot / too cold and see whether my experience changes as I change my attitude.

What I have found is that my ability to be comfortable in a wide variety of weather conditions depends a lot on my internal ‘weather’ system. Meaning that, if I am going through an emotional storm, I’m in conflict, I am tense – and I’m so consumed about what is going on inside myself and my head – where I am pretty much oblivious to my surroundings; that I am a lot more ‘sensitive’ to weather conditions. It’s almost as if in the act of being so internalised and self-absorbed, you’re literally creating a wall of separation between yourself and your surroundings, where you not being here, WITH your surroundings – GROUNDED in your environment – friction gets generated between yourself and your environment where you become more ‘sensitive’ towards your environment, where in a way you experience the conditions in your environment as more ‘hostile’ in having a greater influence and effect on you.

I also noticed that when Cesar starts wading through ice cold pool water – he doesn’t make a sound. Whereas I am going in all ‘AAAAah! HMMMM!!!” Desperately holding in my breath in the hope that somehow holding my breath will produce an invisible power shield that makes the transition less noticeable. #FAIL

Instead I tried going in with release my breath as I enter the water – and to in that moment completely let go of all the tension and stress stored in my body. Much better.

I started to realise that Cesar lives and breathes this letting go. Not so much letting go, as an inner peacefulness – he doesn’t have anything to let go of in the first place, he doesn’t hold on to anything. He’s just here, alive, exploring and learning. He doesn’t have any baggage that he walks around with – whereas I have stored many thing inside myself over the years which I have been holding on to. I’ve been living in conflict with myself, with my environment.

Whenever I see Cesar in absolute contentment with himself and his surroundings – I am remembered by a passage from ‘The Message from the Horse’ by Klaus Hempfling:

 “Humans are strange beings, even though we are the crowning glory of God’s creation. For a start, we seem to have no natural home. Certainly there’s one we no longer share with animals: the direct attachment to the forces of nature. In your search for the message of the horse you will come up repeatedly and painfully against this barrier. In the course of human development we have extended the area of our actions and gained greater freedom, but at what cost? The loss of our close connection to the natural world. We have to wear clothes, live in protective dwellings, and cannot survive without fire. We heat our food and feed principally on cereals and grains that we have to cultivate. An animal, by contrast, lives in the immediacy of his world and survives by his instincts. In other words, he is in direct contact with nature.
“Consider humanity! How do we live?”

And it reminds me that I’ve been losing myself in so many things and that it’s time to settle down with and in nature – both getting in touch with my own nature and striving to live my utmost potential and to slow down and ground myself with the pace of nature.

 

It could have been easy to brush Cesar’s behaviour off as an awkward quirk, or to force him to conform to the standards most of us have gotten used to. I’ve been challenged many times on his clothing topic (well, lack thereof) – been promised many times that he will get sick. There have been times that doubt overtook, that others are probably know better, the fear of making a terrible mistake – budging Cesar to please put some clothes on for the sake of the comfort of knowing that I am going with the stream.

But then I wouldn’t have gotten to these lovely insights. I wouldn’t have realised that there is much I can learn and integrate from seeing Cesar’s living. That there’s such a vast potential still left unexplored – or perhaps explored, but given up on – which is still ever so present in our children, if we foster it, nurture it and let it grow.

Conserving Energy is Exhausting

The Playground

I am standing by as Cesar runs off to the playground in total excitement. An occurrence which has been taking place rather frequently while we have been staying here in Spain.

Cesar starts to tackle the playground, climbing up and down, running from side to side, sliding down and wrestling his way back up the slide, stubbornly resisting gravity and the lack of friction between the soles of his shoes and the slide.

Cesar Playground-edit

He goes up to some kids and soon a game of chase develops. I am perplexed at his outgoingness and what seems an abundant, never-ending supply of energy and zest in whatever he participates in. I catch myself in a lie, as I realise I’m not all that perplexed – I can remember my own childhood, where bedtimes were plain evil. Why do I need to go sleep?

What do you mean, ‘I am going to be tired if I don’t go sleep now’? I went to sleep at the exact same time yesterday and look! I am still not tired.

I contrast the experience of defeat and sadness of having to go lay in bed as a child, to the longing experience I have now towards my bed – a yearning for the welcome warm embrace of the blankets whose subtle weight help sink me into a state of total unconsciousness and oblivion.

Mmmm oblivion…

I wonder what happened between now and then. All the eagerness to explore and meet the world has been replaced with a fear and desire to get away from it all. I know it used to be much worse. That I used to live in paralysing fear and loosened up quite a bit. Even though the fear is less, it still bothers me in quite the same way as it always has.

I make another commitment to learn from Cesar. To use my practical experience and knowledge I’ve run up in the years, but replace my apprehension with the same innocence and wonder of a child.

As I make this decision, Cesar calls for me. He wants me to engage with his play in the playground. Dread, resistance and fear rise up from inside me and clasp my body. I don’t want to. I am perfectly content standing still right here, where only my eyeballs move around to track Cesar’s whereabouts. Now he wants me to move. Bah.

I recognise the mood I’ve just placed myself. Where it feels like I have no energy, that everything’s just wrong – a flame that’s been muffled and dampened by sand being thrown over it, slowly but surely, having lost most of its oxygen to breathe and grow. The dull flame of adullthood.

As I am about to give in to the dreariness, I remember the commitment I had made a fraction of a second ago. Wow, a fraction of a second and I had almost immediately forgotten, like a dream you had forgotten about until it suddenly comes back to you in the middle of the day, not being quite sure if you really dreamt it or are making things up.

I let a deep breath out. I had felt so inspired when I made that commitment, and it only took a simple request from my son to throw it all out of the window. It’s easy to make a commitment, but a whole lot harder to actually follow through. Right, let’s get at it.

As I breathe in I activate every single part of my body and walk up to him with a face that’s ‘gonna come get him’.

He sees me and his sparkly eyes get even bigger. He knows I got the message and smiles.

 

free-line-clipart-images1

How many times a day do we forgo a certain decision or action based on how much energy it will take? How many times do we decline an invitation because we already project ourselves into the future and how exhausted we will be? How many times a day do we imagine all the things we need to do – and the very thought of it makes us feel drained?

As a parent, I’ve come across these scenarios many times. I’ve only got so much energy, I better use it well and sparingly – I can’t expend it now, I need it for the future!

Witnessing my son Cesar – I’ve been forced to reconsider my logic. At three and a half years old – he has shown me that his limits far exceed mine. That what I thought was careful planning of my energy expenditure, was actually costing me more and leaving me with less energy to do all the things I want to do.

Cesar lives in the moment.

Cesar doesn’t care about how much energy he is going to expend for the rest of the day or whether something will tire him out or not. He sees an opportunity and he seizes it. Full on – no holding back. Rather than his activities depleting him, they replenish him.

When I see an opportunity, I first see all the things that can go wrong, what a mistake it could be. I discourage myself. I might give up on the task completely or do it half-heartedly. The result is less than what it could have been and I confirm my sense of inadequacy and lack of self trust.

It’s not that the actual task at hand depleted my energy – it’s all the thinking, imagining, stressing and worrying about it that drains. I may do very little and yet feel as if I’m done for the day. Being frozen like a statue by the playground, would have probably tired me out more with all my idle thinking than running and chasing Cesar for fun.

Whenever I think I am being cautious and ‘practical’ in my approach – are the moments I am wasting the most energy. The fearful thinking in the decision to not do something, like joining Cesar in playing on the playground – because ‘I might be tired later’ drains me more than the actual act of joining him.

When I am constantly on the lookout of what to do and what not to do, a mind set of ‘conserving my energy’ and ‘treading carefully’ – I am consistently and continuously affirming a state of lack within myself. The very act of ‘saving my energy’ – costs me more energy than freely expressing myself and giving it away.

Like a body of water that becomes stagnant – it becomes a breeding pool for parasites and bacteria. When we hold on to our energy it provides the breeding ground for other miserly behaviour and thinking patterns.

Every day I now challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, from my energy saving zone. It can be as small as getting out of my chair and picking something up for him from underneath the table – which he can probably do himself, but he insists I do it – and most of the time, he has a good point asking me – because I don’t want to do the effort of getting up and getting down on my hands and knees into a small space underneath the table. But once it’s over and done with – it’s not that big of a deal. Or perhaps I push myself to run around the farm, as we play ‘super fast train’. Or perhaps I take on a project I’ve been hesitant about, thinking that I can’t do it, that it will be ‘too much’ – to rather do it and afterwards come to a real conclusions – rather than speculating and assuming to know the conclusion beforehand.

Just as I’ve surprised myself with seeing how much energy I can actually expend, and how there always seems to be just a little more left – I’ve surprised myself with tasks and responsibilities that I didn’t think I would be able to complete or handle.

Challenge yourself a bit every day, don’t be afraid to give yourself away freely – and you might be surprised just like me!

 

Related EQAFE support:

Do you Enjoy Motherhood?

Somewhere, in the first two years of Cesar’s life (and my new life as a mother) – I had a dream where Bernard visited me.

While he was there, from the get go I had placed myself in an experience of dissatisfaction, where my whole body language was clearly conveying that ‘I wasn’t enjoying myself’. Then suddenly he asked ‘So Leila, how are you enjoying motherhood?’

I was with my body turned away from him, making a pouty mouth – ready to make a complaining comment. But – there was something about Bernard asking you a question, which made the truth of you ring just a bit clearer for you to not be able to deny it.

As I wanted to open my mouth and speak – my whole demeanour dropped and softened. And I looked at him and said: I’m enjoying it. And he responded with that big grin smile of his.

And that was it.

What stood out for me in this dream, is how I have the tendency to want to complain, pity myself and seek ‘empathy’ from others – while if I look at my actual experience of myself: I am fine – and I am not just fine, but I am actually enjoying myself. This especially so for things that are challenging and trying – which the first two years of walking with Cesar definitely was.

Where, it’s almost as if just because things are hard and challenging, that I have the right to, and deserve to complain. That I should complain. That it’s expected of me to complain.

And the funny thing is – is that when I keep reacting this way, and keep playing out this pattern, then soon enough – the burden becomes real. It’s no longer just something I am playing out, pretending to be – I become it.

For myself, it was quite something to acknowledge, accept and embrace what I enjoy. That I, ‘out of all people’ was the one to have a child. That I, ‘out of all people’ really enjoyed walking with a child.

To stop fighting myself, where instead of keeping up with the idea of myself, to simply embrace and acknowledge that I do enjoy this. That if this experience is here and it is real – well, then it must be me! Lol.

The Scariest Part of Parenting

baby bed parenting leilazamoramoreno

The scariest part of parenting is not having a child to look after. The scariest part is seeing yourself and who you have become as a person. Before having a child, I could seek comfort in knowing myself through various aspects of my life. I was able to define myself according to ‘what I do’, as the ‘job’ or ‘career’ I assigned to myself. I could experience a sense of worth and value in what I was doing. I could define myself according to my self-image, being happy with ‘how I looked’ and that I generally fit in what is deemed as ‘normal’ within society. I could define myself according to the relationships in my life, the amount of time and activities I spent with other people. From that, I experienced a sense of belonging and acceptance.

When I got my son, this all changed. Suddenly, all my time was spent breastfeeding, nappy changing and scrambling for sleep. Who am I without my work to provide me with a sense of value and worth?

My body was still stretched out from pregnancy with stretchmarks displaying deep fiery red colours as my body’s limits got reached towards the end of pregnancy. Who am I when I cannot find solace in what I look like, knowing that I don’t fit ‘the norm’ anymore?

Interactions with others were reduced to glimpses, and whatever activity or interaction which did occur – swiftly ended by the call of the little one requiring attention. Who am I when I am disconnected from those I depended on for a sense of belonging and acceptance?

I love my baby with all my heart, yet these inner frustrations and irritations keep nagging inside myself. I must do more, I must do something else, why can’t I just sit down and have dinner with everyone else, why is my body still out of shape, why do I cringe each time he wakes or needs me?

It’s not like he is actually, physically torturing me. All he asks is a lot of my time – my physical needs are met. Then why do I want to run away? I do not want to run away from my baby – this is clear. Whenever I meet him and look into his eyes, I just see innocence. He is here, simply expressing his needs as they come along. What I want to run away from then?

Myself

Although my child is dependent on me for his physical survival, I encountered his superiority every day, in many ways. He was able to move, slowly but surely, taking the longest time – to start crawling from one side of the room to the other. One – tiny – little – shuffle – at – a time.

He could sit for an hour, moving the same object around, in absolute peacefulness.

He does not know of work, friends, body image – yet he lives in total self-acceptance.

It’s frightening to see and encounter. So busy have I been my entire life, to find all the things for myself that he lives to readily. So simply.

All my achievements and successes I cherished, seemed pale in comparison to what I was witnessing daily, in a child simply living, being here.

But – it cannot be, right? I mean, he’s a child, a baby. How can a child – POSSIBLY – hold the answers to Life. Children are wild, irrational, savage creatures. They know NOTHING! How could this child possibly have anything for me to learn. It’s tough to lay aside your ego and admit you’ve been on a wild goose chase. That a babe is more strongly connected to itself and its life force than you are. That while you are the responsible one, you are also the most ignorant.

So what to do with all of this? So much inner conflict. Yet only one thing was certain: I know that I do not know.

Humbleness is the only option.

Not Sharing the Whole Story

toddler hiding crying leilazamoramoreno

Cesar has been going through some new developments as of late. When he goes through an experience of being ‘wronged’, he’ll run off to the closest person to cry and complain about his great misfortune. While he cries and moans, he’ll only give ‘his story’, only sharing a part of what happened, and leaving out any information indicating how he played part in creating the story, how he contributed to his own misfortune. If the person is aware of what happened and what the whole story is, they’ll challenge him to get all the information, challenge him to consider all sides/aspects of what happened so that he can learn and prevent such a situation from playing out again; rather than indulging in victimization and powerlessness (and thus inviting a replay, as he then won’t see how things could have gone differently).

Here, he slid off the couch (very softly) and went into an emotional experience about it, demanding I help him get up. Seeing what had happened and seeing he was totally fine physically, I told him to get up himself. He wasn’t very pleased with it but got himself up, and as a way of retaliation for not getting his way, where I didn’t indulge him in his emotional experience of victimization – he took a toy and hit it on my arm. I took the toy away from him while giving him a strong NO.  He then ran off to Maite who was busy doing dishes, crying and moaning about his previous aw, blaming me for the experience. Maite explained to him what happened and we all sat together going over what happened, until he settled down and moved on.

It’s interesting to see and play out – him being a toddler, it is overly obvious what game he is playing. Yet, this game is a game we adults know all too well, but often don’t see it or identify it as such. Whenever something happens where we feel disempowered or ‘wronged’, it’s easier to paint off other people as being ‘the boogeyman’, it’s easier to point fingers and blame others, to gossip about another behind their backs, to only focus and see ‘our side of the story’ – rather than looking at all aspects and dimensions which played out, identifying and seeing where we contributed to the situation and experience we find ourselves in and taking responsibility for it.

It’s fascinating to see how young we already start playing out these patterns, but I am grateful for the support and people around me to equally already start at a young age to show how he can live and incorporate the correction. Not only for him, but a good reminder for us adults too! Through watching him grow and develop, seeing the quirky patterns come up – I get to introspect on myself, see how and who I have become today. As much as I’m parenting him, I’m also parenting – or re-patterning – myself to become the person I would like to be and become.

From Anger to Integrity | Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

anger and integrity

Anger is one of the emotions I faced a lot within my personal journey, and one I made a priority to deal with. Becoming angry and acting out in anger – would only lead to guilt and regret. Anger, was a real (d)anger.

Let’s look at a simple scenario to place how anger can play out and what we can learn from it.

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Say, you’ve had a long day (as is every day when you are parenting a young baby/toddler) and you’ve finally found a moment to sit down and catch up on your emails. Your baby is crawling around by itself, and you pray to god that he will continue entertaining himself. As you’re clicking and reading away, you realise that your baby found your cell phone and seems quite fascinated by the lights and movements it makes as he swipes on it. You cringe inside yourself, because you know your baby doesn’t have the concept of what a phone is, how easily phones break these days and the type of financial investment they are. You really don’t want him to play with it.

But… on the other hand… you are finally having some sweet time to yourself. If you intervene and remove the phone, baby might get fussy and then it’s bye-bye me time. You weigh your options and decide to take the risk of letting baby play with the phone.

Click, click, click….Scroll, scroll, scroll. You realise how long you’ve been reading your emails and you check up on what your baby’s up to.

Oh My God!!

Did he just SLOBBER all over the phone?? Are those BITEMARKS???

You get up, rip the phone out of baby’s hands and start shouting that he must NOT PLAY WITH THE PHONE!!

Baby started crying the moment you stood up energetically and ripped the phone away. Now he’s REAL FUSSY. You see the devastating look on his face, how he has no idea what just happened. You realise the look on your own face, piercing through his heart. You regret what you did immediately, you soften up and try to comfort him.

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So let’s have a look what we can learn from anger in such scenarios.

First thing I realised, is that whenever I get angry at my son, I am not actually angry at him – I’m angry at myself.

I’m upset with myself without even realising it, and instead of listening to myself and directing myself – I project the issue unto my son as if he is to blame for my experience.

Second thing I realised, is that when I get angry, it’s already too late. Why is that? Anger in itself, is a statement of ‘this is unacceptable’ – a boundary or line has been crossed. In the example above, we can see that the boundary or line was crossed the moment we decided to forgo our own common sense. The common sense being: I don’t want, and can’t afford to get my phone ruined – baby should not have access to my phone.  Instead, we decided to *hope* that by some miracle the phone would be alright (which who knows, could have happened – but you don’t have any control over that) and so gave away our power to direct the situation from the get to and leave the outcome up to ‘fate’.

Then, when fate turns against us – now we get emotionally charged and angry at our baby. But why? Didn’t we make the decision to not intervene? Didn’t we leave the outcome up to chance? And now suddenly the baby has to pay for it?

This brings me to the solution of dealing with anger, which is Integrity.

What does integrity mean? Integrity means to live and uphold your principles. As within, so without.
Furthermore, integrity is linked to wholeness through its root in the word ‘intact’. Within being whole with yourself, you are living and standing undivided. Yet, the moment you uphold principles within yourself but not live/act upon them – you stand divided within yourself and so ‘cross your own boundary’. You get angry, at yourself.

Within this I realised, that the essence of anger is essentially hypocrisy, something I didn’t like seeing or realising – but cut straight to the point, and allowed me to see my adult tantrums for what they were.

So whenever I get angry or get the slightest irritation or frustration boil up inside me – I stop – and I ask myself: where am I not being true to myself? Where did I make a decision to ‘slack’ and not live up to my principles, and my utmost potential that I know I can live by? Where, and how could I have done something differently? Where am I being divided, split inside myself?

Through working and developing your own personal integrity, we can avoid these situation where we burst out and have an outcome we regret. These rash emotions and feelings which rise up, they are not here to be ‘acted out’ – they are part of our biofeedback system, pointing at a message we have yet to embrace.

Whenever you get angry, remind yourself of the word Integrity. There are two sides of the same coin, we just need the courage the flip the coin over and hear the message we require to learn.

Why does Emotional and Feeling Turmoil Exist?| Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

becoming-aware-of-the-mind

In my previous blog I gave an example of how the beliefs we hold inside ourselves as ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ determine our perception and so the actions we take in response to what we perceive is happening.

So how do emotions and feelings as emotional turmoil fit into this picture?

What I’ve noticed with myself, is that whenever I hold a belief inside myself through which I perceive and act through – some form of emotion or feeling energy will emerge inside myself.

In the beginning of the series I had shared how I was going through a lot of emotional turmoil inside myself in the beginning phases of my parenting journey. When I finally had ‘enough’ of this hectic experience inside myself, it wasn’t that I was telling the emotional turmoil to just ‘stop it’; rather; I dropped the beliefs which I was holding on to which were creating emotional turmoil inside myself.

When I noticed this, I started to be more aware of the slightest movements inside myself – to challenge myself to see whether what I was experiencing was a reflection of the ‘reality I was in’; or whether the experience was there because I was holding on to an inaccurate view of reality and myself. Throughout time, this conclusion was affirmed time and time again.

When I would say be angry at my child, the situation wasn’t demanding of me to be angry – rather, I was perceiving reality in such a way that I believed anger was the appropriate response. The anger didn’t emerge and rise inside myself for me to act out on; the anger emerged to say ‘Hello, there’s a misalignment in how you’re perceiving your reality – you need to check what belief you are holding on to which is causing you to think and act inappropriately’.

I noticed that every emotion and feeling, and every single nuance that exists of it, would contain a specific message – a specific door that needed to be opened and for me to look into, a door to myself wherein I could see and assess what ‘guidelines’ as beliefs, ideas and perceptions I had set myself up to act in accordance to; beliefs, ideas and perceptions which would lead to disharmonious outcomes inside myself and my outer reality if I decided to act on them.

Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable fear, anger, anxiety, restlessness, excitement, adrenaline are experienced inside yourself and your body? It’s because they’re within their very nature disharmonious – and arise for us to reflect on ourselves, so we can ask: where we are being disharmonious inside and with ourselves? I’ve been a very emotional person throughout my life, and I never liked it. I don’t like the feeling of having this energy inside myself that I cannot direct and don’t know what to do with. That I can’t see or think past anything but what I am experiencing as the emotion or feeling presiding in that moment. I would avoid so many situations, especially social ones – simply because I knew I would be going through emotional turmoil inside myself, that I would not know what to do with it or how to direct it and so I rather not place myself in those positions at all. I absolutely hated these experiences coming up inside me, and being a slave to them. Not being able to do things that I wanted or with the confidence that I wanted, because so many things would trigger an emotional response inside myself that I decided that it was simply ‘not worth it’.

As a mother I hated it even more. I love my son to bits and I want the best for him – yet, I experience all these conflicting emotions and feelings inside myself. When I act on them I regret it as soon as the moment as past.

Learning that emotions and feelings are not here to limit us, but here to guide us, show us how we decided to diminish ourselves through inaccurate beliefs, ideas and perceptions about ourselves and the world – has been one of the greatest gifts received in my life. I don’t have to fear emotional turmoil. If emotional turmoil comes up in one way or the other, I can simply look at the message behind it, change my attitude and approach from limitation to empowerment: and the turmoil disappears.

All those emotions and feelings you battle with within your day to day living, they don’t really want to be there! They’re coming up to ask you to pleeeasse have a look at how you are living, how you are perceiving yourself and the world around you – and to make a change so they may disappear and you may leave in peace with yourself and your environment.

What’s more – is that as you become attuned to your own emotions and feelings and what they are trying to show you, you will be able to create a more effective and intimate relationship with your child. As a parent you may have noticed that a tantrum doesn’t come in a ‘single package’, but that the way children, toddlers and babies ‘act out’ differs from moment to moment, situation to situation. When we become attuned to how we’ve allowed ourselves to live by a limited version of ourselves, we can assist our children in showing them how they can empower themselves through conflicting experiences. With my own son who is but a toddler, most if not all of his tantrums manifest not because of a disharmonious perception on this side, but where he ‘acts out’ to reflect back to me where I have not been true to my utmost potential, and allowed limiting ideas and beliefs to control me, which also determine how I approach my son.

Besides my own emotional turmoil being there to guide me, I also have my son as an external reference to show me where I am going off path.

So if you can relate and find yourself going through your own experiences of emotional and feeling turmoil – then that’s great! Because guess what? It simply means there’s still a better, more improved version of yourself to be discovered and lived!