Parenting can be difficult sometimes. The age and stage of our children often determines the nature of our struggles. As moms, it’s natural to want to “save” our children from pain. From scabbed up knees to emotional hurts, we want to protect them. They’re our babies! The emotional part of me thinks about saving them, but the sensible part of me realizes that we learn from pain. In order for them to learn and be strong individuals they have to experience pain. So what is my role in this?
I recently witnessed my child experience an emotionally difficult situation. Ironically, it was a direct re-play of one of my most hurtful childhood memories. My first reaction was anger and frustration. Why would we BOTH have to feel this way? I’m the mom. I’m supposed to know what to say to make it feel better. Right? But wow, I don’t seem to know. How can my words erase those feelings for her? They can’t.
A friend reminded me of one of Brene Brown’s vulnerability talks. She reminds us that vulnerability is important. It can be painful, but it’s worth it. In order to have connections with others we have to be seen. Brene also brings up being familiar and comfortable enough in our own darkness to be able to sit with another in their darkness. This is not easy for me! As I listened to her talk about vulnerability and parenting I had my “aha” moment. My painful childhood experience is now a tool for me to sit with my own child in her darkness. I can let her know that I too have been there and truly know what it feels like. It feels like rejection and sadness. But somehow if we can sit together and relate to each other’s pain it seems better. It’s a real reminder that neither of us are alone. Now the pain can flow through and not be tucked away to fester up at a later date.
“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” ~Isaiah 66:9
There is another piece to this vulnerability topic for me that I want to share. I have spent a lot of time with my not so good friend, Shame. Shame tells me to stay away from Connection and Vulnerability. I unknowingly listened for a long time. It took something that I was extremely passionate about to try something different. I love horses and wanted to learn to do more things with them and compete. My past experiences with competition told me that failure was too disappointing, and trying again would be emotionally dangerous. I’ve been trying anyway. The journey has taught me new ideas that fulfill me every day!
I’ve learned that:
*Compassion for myself is first.
*When I love with my whole heart, I feel loved in return.
*I believe in progress over perfection.
*In order to feel connected I have to allow myself to be seen.
*I finally found a strong sense of worthiness, love and belonging.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future.” ~Proverbs 31:25
Wishing you a happy holiday season, and as always I would love to hear your stories on this topic!