I'm drinking up some caffeinated chai today, friends. It was a late-night with some intense energy emanating from my daughter... which leads me to the topic of today's tea...
My kids have been three of my most potent spiritual teachers. Kids speak riiiiight to the heart of the matter. They poke riiiiiiiight at your buttons. Or maybe I should just speak for myself here!
Anyhow, that's how I see the beauty of a parent-child relationship.
My kids have come into my life, and I see my job as raising them in such a way that respects their Soul's voice. I think I am meant to help them to understand and navigate the physical world, while also keeping alive their memory of where they came from, of what they are. Because what happens is, we come here and over time we're un-trained or talked out of listening to our inner voice, of believing in our spiritual senses. The way I see it is, wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to navigate life with that inner compass intact? I am certainly not perfect at this parenting philosophy of mine! I am guilty of getting completely wrapped up in the "to-do's," the house keeping, the homework, the "show me good listenings."
It is actually in looking back on the first few months of parenting of my second-born that I realize how much all of my kids have pushed me ever closer to an acceptance of what my inner-voice says. In aiming to accept and hear out their most intensely triggering emotions, I've been learning to embrace my less-than-pretty sides, too. I want them to know that being whole-hearted, being vulnerable, expressing their sensitivity is as brave as falling and getting right back up again. Vulnerability and bravery are not mutually exclusive.
When my second-born came into my life, I was completely knocked backwards by her intensity. Her intense need to be held. Her intense protests if it wasn't me holding her. Her intense fight against sleeping. Her intense expression of every single emotion. She never seemed to do anything half-way. Compared to her older brother, she was most definitely "high needs."
While her demands were more exhausting than what I was accustomed to, I'll admit something else had me secretly more rattled.
I worried what others thought of her. I worried that her intensity would keep anyone else from getting close enough to really witness her beyond brilliant love. I worried that no one would be able to love her because unless it was me, her dad, or her brother, it took a lot of work for her to be okay in the arms of anyone else.
It wasn't long before I found myself making excuses for her expressions of emotions. "She really hasn't napped well today," I'd apologize.
Someone would make a teasing comment about her being a "mama's girl" and I'd cringe with embarrassment and worry. "She's just probably hungry," I'd say, fake-laughing it off.
The truth is, I worried that my baby's strong-will and even stronger lungs would determine her worthiness in the eyes of others. And that terrified me. I felt equally disgusted with myself and frustrated with all of the comments made about her temperament. I resented myself for not standing up for her right to be herself, and for concerning myself with what anyone else thought.
Now that she is a toddler, I'm beyond grateful for her spunky and expressive nature. No one will ever stop her from going after what she wants in life, (and that includes a late night stuffed animal party in bed, much to the chagrin of both her father and I). She is a force to be reckoned with, an ever present reminder to me to say what you mean and mean what you say. I will never have to worry about her being held back by anyone, of that I am sure.
And, not surprisingly, my anxieties and worries of her babyhood have proven to be completely unfounded. She's as loveable as they come. It's plain to see that her intense expression comes from her intense love of life. And what is not to love about that?
Your turn: Have you ever felt the need to repress the expression of your emotions? If so, where do you think it stemmed from? Were you raised in an atmosphere that made you feel okay about being fully you, or were you (unconsciously) taught that strong emotions are not okay? How do you feel about strong emotions in general? About witnessing them in others? Let's have a refill and chat!!