The day you were born, the world changed; the world welcomed you with loving arms, smiles filled with hopes, dreams and promises of all shapes and sizes. There was something about your existence that graced the very beings that created you. You will never fully know the impact you have made on your parents, but I can assure you, you have. You are a blessing and a miracle... to live your life in any other way detaches us from this gift of perspective. You began as a miracle, so when did this shift for us?
As we grow, societal influences and force of habit become the corner stone of our day to day routines, however, at the end of the day, before you lay your head, if what you go to sleep with is worry, sadness, and anxiety you are in major need of some healing. To listen to these feelings and to acknowledge they are real and that they are potentially dictating your life, well, you now have come face to face with a decision; to continue this way or to become inspried on a daily basis. No one is resposnsible for your feelings or the way you carry out yourself but you...you are the only one who will ever be able to make a shift. To quote my friend Karen Noe, "You are the light you wish to seek."
I began listening to Wayne Dyer through free videos distributed through Hay House (http://www.drwaynedyer.com/). I never realized the depth of sadness I carried from my childhood until I began listening, and as I kept listening, I let go. As a mother of two, finding time to yourself is minimal, however, I realized I had to create time to listen because of how it was making me feel; while I was doing my hair, my makeup, my skin care regimens, in my car, before bed... I found the time and purpose found me. Being a parent and a wife is the best purpose I have been given in this life. The fact that all of Wayne's material is free and just a click away, freed me from the fear of spending money and some how this unlocked a door for me.
Being vulnerable is scary, writing this blog is scary, but I am doing it any way so you know there is hope in healing. When we heal the 'child in us', we are then able to be the best parents that have ever lived. Don't forget that there are a ton of professionals out there that have selected a profession to help guide you, to help you reach the root of everything you were born with. It is through expressing my feelings, sharing my stories, and learning new coping skills that have helped free this child in me.
My husband has taught me the very importance of having your father present in your life. Bobby's instict with situations is powerful and he understands the need for boundary setting wtih children. As a Special Education teacher, Bobby has a gift. The world was blessed the day he was born. On a daily basis, he reaches out to children and families in need and gives the gift of laughter and love to those who need it on his path. While at home, he teaches me perspective and has taught me how to laugh at myself; to not take life so seriously. What I am learning is that each parent has a responsiblilty to fulfill a role and that is up to the parent to determine. We all have different up bringings and different perspectives when it comes to raising your children. It is important for both parents to discuss what they feel their role is so the expecations are clear. Being a parent is not easy work, it constantly forces you to "step up" and "dig deep", to talk about the things you don't want to talk about for the greater good of raising exceptional people. All the while, the very means of your relationship begin to pave the way for modeling emotions, healthy communciation skills, problem solving skills, and instilling ever lasting impressions on the "mini humans" you have been blessed with. What it comes down to, is how do you want to spend your time with this gift? We must acknowledge the beautiful role and qualities you witness with your partner; no one is an expert, but feelings guide us on the path of "figuring it out". We must all constantly have open communication with our partners because they are also a part of this gift.
In the wake of emotional suprresion, we detach from the root of our being..we must challenge ourselves to stop, slow down and be present. I have often been stumped with how to become present and then all of a sudden I realized the answer stood before me. Children teach us how to be present if we just let them. They may challenge you with reading them a book while you are in the middle of doing work, they might show you a piece of artwork that is important to them and want you to see it, they might want you to sit on the couch with them to watch their favorite show, they might ask you for a hug, they are communicating with you verbally and non verbally... if you slow down, get on eye level with them, your "adult glasses" come off and instantly you "child glasses" come on. AH-HA, you see your child and you are reminded what each day is really all about. If you are reading this and you have older children, it is NEVER too late to slow down and to listen. Children are constantly expressing themselves throguh their behaviors, their words, their nonverbal communcation. If you slow down to help them identify what is going on, you will be surprised with how much they are in need of a listening ear; the attention of the parent.
My therapist has shed light on the importance of the theory of "The Stages of Development". Therapy is a safe place for me to look at the life I have been blessed with and to help shed some light on the impact I have on our children. "Erik Erikson, another American psychologist, is similarly related to Freud for his theory of the developmental stages of life. Erikson's ideas differed from Freud's studies in that he believed humans developed throughout their entire lifespan. He examined human development in 8 stages: Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair, as shown in the image below with corresponding age groups (Sharkey 1997). Erikson believed that the first stage is the most important, for it shapes how the child will learn and grow. The infancy stage of Trust vs. Mistrust focuses on the idea that the child's parent is always there to take care of him - if the child is crying, mom or dad will be available and provide the child with what he needs. An infant is very uncertain of the world around him and in need of consistent response and caregiving from his guardian. If this care is given, the child has the ability to develop a sense of trust and feel secure later in life (McLeod 2013) The child develops his first essential connection and relationship of attachment with another person when he begins to trust mom or dad. Throughout stage 2 and 3, as the infant grows into a toddler and then a preschooler, this trust in a caregiver has given him the ability to trust himself and thus be autonomous and initiative. Within this sense of curiosity, independence, and eventually imagination, emerges an outbreak of nightmares and fears around the age of three ("Explaining Children: Three Theories of Development"). According to Erikson's theory, a trusting relationship with a parent is crucial, and if interrupted throughout early stages, self-trust and the ability to develop independence is negatively impacted." Each stage must be mastered in order to be healthy. The best thing my therapist told me is that you can actually go back and and fix a stage if you have not fully completeld a stage. As if parenting wasn't scary enough, we realize just how important it is to give the attention to these little beings when they ask for it. Some may think children are mulitpulating or attention seeking; there is purpose to this behavior. Stop what you are doing and learn from them what they need...because if after all, if we do not slow down for our children and the ones we love, what else is there?