Our children come to us to help us heal

Written by Amie on May 19, 2014 – 3:01 am -

opportunities to grow and heal

The relationship between parent and child can be the most beautiful experience or the most painful. (And probably somewhere in between). It can be beautiful when we drop the notion that we can do no wrong because we are the parent. It can be beautiful when we allow the challenges in the relationship to show us the places in us which are not healed. It can be beautiful when we remember our children come to us in love and to help us heal. It is painful if we are unable to be vulnerable with them, to let them see our truth, let them see who we really are. Our children do not belong to us. It really is our job to become aware enough to see their “annoyances” or their actions as opportunities to grow and heal. It is not our job to break their spirit so they learn to conform to what we want them to be, nor is it our job to force our beliefs and/or our pain onto them. If we don’t face our own pain, and if we don’t come to understand how that pain has affected the relationships in our lives, then we are living from our place of pain. We react from this place of pain. We interact from this place of pain. We shield our hearts, which means we aren’t able to fully receive love. We go around covered in armor, protecting our hearts because we are afraid to appear weak, or afraid those we love will hurt us.

children come to teach us

Our children come to us to help us become who we really are, and to help us heal our past traumas. I believe children come to teach us, not for us to teach them. I believe children have so much to teach us, if we are willing to be vulnerable, if we are willing to put aside our ego, and put aside the thinking that, “we are the adult, we know more than children”, and the thinking that, “I am older and they should respect me”. I believe a person has to earn respect. If you give respect, you will receive respect. (another post in itself). So, why am I talking about this? Well, because I wish no matter how old we are, how old our children are, how old our parents are, that we can open to the idea of learning from each other no matter how long it takes to get to this decision. I wish adults could open their hearts, lay aside their old thinking, embrace their own emotional pain, and open their hearts to children, no matter what age they are. When a person gets stuck in the thinking that they are “weak” if they confront their emotional pain, then they are closed off to the opportunities to learn from those younger than they are. When a person is not confronting their emotional pain, there is no way to have a healthy, authentic relationship with a loved one.

motherandkids

spiritually and emotionally asleep 

When my kids were born I was spiritually and emotionally asleep so to speak. I was not in touch with who I was. There were hints here and there, but I began waking up after my babies were born, after I began bonding with them. I had never felt a connection as intense and as deep as the connections I had with my babies. It awoke something in me I had no idea was there. Feeling the bond with them triggered pain in me. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but it was there. When I say triggered, I mean that I had an emotional reaction when I was nurturing them. I soon realized that bringing babies into the world is the most powerful relationship there is. I believe kids come to us so that they can show us where our emotional pain is. They give us multiple opportunities to choose consciousness and awareness and presence. We can choose to look within ourselves to discover why we feel triggered, or we can become angry with our children and blame them for being difficult or demanding or whatever term we think fits.

look in the mirror

I believe no matter what age we are, it is possible to heal. It is possible to heal relationships no matter how long they have been in trouble. It is possible to wake up to discover the truth of who you really are. It is possible to put ego aside, take off the armor little by little, and have the courage to really look inside your heart to feel your emotional pain that has been buried. Each time you allow yourself to feel some of the pain, you become more awake, more conscious, more authentic. If you are struggling with relationships, especially those with family members, maybe it is time to look in the mirror to ask yourself, what am I needing to learn from this experience? Ask yourself, why is this situation so painful for me? Why am I so angry with this person? Why do I feel so emotionally charged when this person does something I don’t like? What pain are you living your life from? I just want to reassure you that being vulnerable with people who love you is one of the most beautiful experiences. Drop the stories you have told yourself about them and listen to what they say. It may or may not resonate with you. Either is ok. However, if your reaction is anger, this is a time to go beneath the anger to discover the true hurt that is hiding there.

 

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Help with depression, Kids/teenagers and depression | 2 Comments »

Depression,loneliness,authenticity,and vulnerability

Written by Amie on February 19, 2012 – 3:53 pm -

naming the feeling of loneliness

I received an e-mail yesterday from someone asking me about loneliness. She told me she feels lonely even when she is surrounded by people who care about her. I told her I can totally relate to the feeling, and I also told her what a gift it is that she recognizes this part of herself. I remember so many times that I felt this way. It took me a very long time to figure out what was really behind the feeling of loneliness. Honestly, I didn’t know it was loneliness I was feeling. I knew the feeling felt really big inside me, but I wasn’t sure how to name it. At that time in my life, I had the habit of turning these feelings against myself. In other words, I had this big feeling inside me that I bundled all together with all of the “bad” feelings I was having, and called it depression.  I would tell myself there must be something *wrong with me* for feeling bad even when I had people in my life who loved me. How could I be around people who say they care about me and still feel depressed? The answer eluded me for quite awhile. Maybe the real situation was that I didn’t want to acknowledge my truth. If I were to actually name this feeling I was having (loneliness), I believed I would then have to act on it right away.  That isn’t true. The first step is always to acknowledge the feeling, and then allow yourself to feel it. Once you allow yourself to feel your emotions, a part of you will open up to new possibilities, and action will follow if that is what needs to happen.

I was dying inside, I felt so empty

It took me awhile to figure out, or acknowledge that I truly was feeling lonely. It also took me awhile to see the patterns I had set up in my life to support this loneliness. I am not being judgmental here, just stating what is true. Somewhere along the path in my life I learned that I needed to protect my sensitive spirit from people who had the potential to hurt me. When our true selves are not nurtured and supported starting from a young age, we learn other ways to be in the world as a way of protecting ourselves. I thought if I could keep myself from being vulnerable with another person, I was protecting  myself. I only allowed myself to go to a certain level of connection with people, and then I would put up my walls of protection. Nobody could get past those walls. It appeared as though I was sharing myself with others, but I wasn’t. Not by a long shot. I appeared strong and I appeared as though I had it all together. But I didn’t. I was dying inside. I felt so empty.

it has taken me almost 6 years to get to where I am today

With the help of a therapist, I finally came to see how lonely I was really feeling. I found a therapist who (after going through many therapists that I could never open up to) I felt safe with. It took awhile, but she was finally able to help me make a crack in my wall of protection. It was a slow, often painful process. My mind was like a steel trap. It did not want to budge. It has taken me almost 6 years to get to where I am today. That seems like a long time when there are promises out there telling us you can pop a pill to get relief without having to do the work of looking inside yourself. (I am not saying medication should never be taken, I tried that route myself) However, to put things into perspective, I remind myself that it took me much longer than 6 years to get to the breaking point of depression, so I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. I had to rediscover the authentic person behind the wall of protection, and that takes work.

most people feel lonely because it is not “small talk” they are really wanting and needing

And…back to the issue of loneliness….I can see now that people who have a wall up around them are most likely feeling lonely most of the time. Most people feel lonely because it is not “small talk” they are really wanting and needing. Most of us settle for this because it is the norm. But on a deeper level, we want to feel connected to each other, we want to know what is really alive in the person we are talking with. We want to feel authenticity with each other. It is so sad that most people have been trained to ignore the real stuff, and go straight to the small talk. My first real connection with someone was my therapist. I know that may sound weird, but I don’t care! lol She was coming from a conscious healthy place, and I felt it.  I felt her authenticity, and I wanted more. From there I met a wonderful friend (at a book store!) who is so authentic with me. At first, it was scary because I didn’t trust that she could be real. I didn’t trust that she wouldn’t hurt me. But I hung in there, and I now call her my soul sister. I am also a part of a women’s spiritual growth group with like minded conscious women who are also seeking authenticity and truth. Another person who I relate to on a soul level is a friend I met years ago at a health food store! She is someone that I know connects with me at a very deep and authentic level.

the more I love myself, the more I bring people into my life that will mirror that love back to me

I feel so grateful for all of the people in my life right now who are real with me. I notice that the more I love myself, the more I bring people into my life that will mirror that love back to me. My kids have done this for me since the day they were born. Talk about authentic! To this day, they call me out on my old patterns. So, I guess what I am trying to say here is that if you are feeling depressed, ask yourself if you are lonely. Be as honest as you can be with yourself. Just admitting it but not putting pressure on yourself to do anything about it will help. Just allow yourself to feel the truth of what is there in your body. I would say to myself, “I am feeling really lonely right now”. Then I would tune in to what my body was feeling in that moment. Tightness in my stomach, almost always. Just stay with the feelings in your body. You don’t have to solve anything….just feel…..

 it’s time to fall in love..with yourself

The more you allow yourself to feel what is true for you, the more you will begin to crack open your wall of protection. What I am also saying here is that if you don’t have at least one person in your life you can be 100% real with, it is time to find one. Finding one will lead to finding another. I promise you there are people out there wanting the same thing you do. Authenticity. Vulnerability is a part of the process. People who are willing to be vulnerable, willing to show their human side, will attract others who want the same thing. People are lonely because they are guarded. We shut down our truth; our human side. The act of pretending to be happy, the act of going through the motions of being human, doesn’t cut it for very long. Many people are okay with living their lives like this. I am not one of those people anymore. If I would have continued down the pretending path for much longer, I most likely wouldn’t be here today. That is the truth. I need to be real, I need to be who I was born to be, I need people in my life who are willing to be real with me. I refuse to pretend. One more thing….actually a very important point…..once you start truly loving yourself unconditionally, you won’t feel lonely anymore. When you love yourself, you will stop looking for someone else to make you feel any certain way. Nobody can ever make you feel unconditional love for yourself. You need your love in order to be happy. You can start loving yourself right this minute by asking yourself what you honestly need right now. Being honest about it will start your path to self-love. We all crave authenticity and love and deep connection….so you really can’t truly feel these things unless you are madly in love with yourself!!! So, maybe it’s time to fall in love..with yourself! xo

And in the spirit of love….I have to put this song in here yet again…I just love it so much! 🙂

 

 

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Posted in Connection, Depression, Healing & personal growth, healing from depression, Nurture yourself, Self-love | 5 Comments »
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