(written with permission from my daughter)
Last weekend my daughter (10 yrs old) and I abandoned the boys and headed into to town for a girls weekend! We had been planning and looking forward to this since Christmas!!! Our two days were fully planned out. My daughter and I have that (among other things) in common – we LOVE to plan. The first day, the plan was to hit Dubai Mall for some hours, have lunch, check into our lovely hotel, hang at the pool, grab a quick dinner, go see Swan Lake later that night, then come back to the hotel for cuddles and a delicious sleep . The next entailed starting the day with what we both love the most – a breakfast buffet, then the pool and a tad more shopping – the child has some money she had been saving that was literally burning a hole in her pocket!
The first part of day was was off to a flying start! You should have seen us…walking arm in arm, checking out all the lovely shops, spending a whole hour in the bookstore (my fav) and dropping a substantial sum at the toy store for a bucket load of My Littlest Pet Shop critters…we were two seriously happy campers!
After a delicious lunch, we headed to the hotel. When we got to the hotel and were checking in, we were told that our room was not yet ready, but if we wanted to check out a room on the second floor to see if that was ok, we could. So we did. I mean the room was nice, but it overlooked the highway and smelled like stale smoke. Not fab. So we went down and asked if it wasn’t possible to get a room with a view of the pool (and with a tad fresher smell). She said of course, but it was a 45 min wait. Sophie, who, I noticed at that point, was in desperate need of a little down time, did not like the sound of that and things began spiraling downwards. We wanted to get to the pool (that was the next item on our itinerary!) so they let us hang in an available room until our room was ready.
You know how when you have expectations and reality somehow doesn’t measure up? Well my sweet Sophie was lost in this very abyss. She had high hopes and Dubai rarely lets us down either. I remember loosing my emotional footing when I was a kid, especially when I was a teenager. The slightest shift in energy (a change of plans, a disappointment) would be enough to send me into total emotional turmoil. So I understood her “funk”.
But at the same time, in my head, I am thinking: “What the HELL!?!?! This child is so LUCKY to be experiencing all the things she gets to experience in her life – how ungrateful is she?!?!” I opened my mouth to say this very thing, and then closed it. In that moment I saw clearly that my job was not to make things worse by adding another thing for her to feel bad about, but rather, my job was to hold the space of LOVE.
She grudgingly got her suit on and we headed down to the pool – I hoped that the water would somehow make everything ok. But, holding the space of love isn’t always an easy job. I had to be really diligent in my own mind and consistently reject all thoughts and emotions that would separate me from love. It was a long walk.
We got in the pool and I started talking. About how lucky we were, about how lovely this was, about how much fun we were going to have, how nice it is to be just us two. And then I just realized I had to shut-up. My words – even though they were positive and optimistic and came from a place of love, were not helping her – they were, in a way, just for me – to keep me afloat! The reality was, they were sort of making things worse.
So I closed my mouth and gave her space. All the while in my mind, I was holding the space for love. In this space, I fill it with all the patience and compassion she need to breath in love and let it restore her soul. We swam and little by little I saw my bright, shining, love filled soul of a daughter reemerge – my playful, funny, happy girl! And we didn’t talk anymore about it! That is a real stretch for me – when things improve or my kids shift their energy I usually go out of my way to pat them on the back. But somehow this situation didn’t call for it. We were back in our little flow of love and joy and that was all that mattered.
So that felt amazing! What did I specifically do?
1. I understood where she was. I understood and empathized with her disappointment and her expectations. I also knew she was tired from our mall crawl and was eager to just relax. Consciously understanding the state of mind (and body) of my child helped me tap into ways to serve her as her mother, to help her, to love her through not feeling good.
2. I resisted the urge to get triggered. I thought it, I felt it and I was about to react from my own disappointment, but I stopped myself. I stopped myself because I have committed to parenting my children from my heart, not my head and this commitment serves me everyday by guiding my thoughts, my words and my actions. If my ego had been allowed to make an entrance, it may very well have ruined the day and even the weekend. Love took over in this moment and truly made everything right.
3. I opened up the space for love to flow. I know this sounds diffuse, but it is actually quite simple. From my commitment to love, my mind quiets and love guides the way. When we are constantly in our minds, we don’t realize that there is this “space” all around us. Energetically, there are energy fields all around us. When my mind quiets, I am able to access this space and fill it with the belief that love will rise to the surface, she will get over this and we will go back to making mommy/daughter love-filled memories!
4. I listened to the voice within. Because love really matters to me, I let it tell me what to do. Love told me to shut up, stop trying to make it better with words and told me that my energy was way more powerful in transmuting this moment than anything I could physically do.
I so truly believe it is our responsibility to care lovingly for our children even when they have lost their joy equilibrium, have fallen victim to their own egos, to negative energy and have become unhinged from love. I don’t see this as any different if my child had fallen and gotten hurt physically. I would rush to her side and, with love, comfort and try to heal her. It is the same with their psychological and emotional “falls”. But in these instances, it is less about what I do to heal my child but my diligence in holding the healing space of love between us. I believe that it is that that will restore both her mind and mine.
If you would like get some perspective on how to infuse a specific difficult situation you are having with your kids with a love consciousness and you don’t know where to start, post below or send me an email. I won’t publish your question or my answer without your consent and all questions will be posted anonymously (if you so prefer).