These last few months, I have noticed my 85-year-old mom not only creating busyness but always sounding busy. Are you familiar with that idea? When I call her, the sound in her voice is exasperated and almost annoyed at the phone ringing and the interruption of whatever she is in the middle of.
Knowing my mom, and her history from her own family, I am able to clearly see what was going on. The cycle continues as she moves through her own life.
When my mom was a child, she was often overlooked. The times when she shared her childhood stories with me, there was pain, disappointment, and sadness that I could see and feel within her as she spoke. On occasion, she would tear up. What did this mean in her life? How did this translate into her parenting?
As a child, I felt these exact same feelings. I often felt like I was just a burden, a pesky annoyance in which she did not have time for, the time I so desperately needed. Over time, I then protected myself so as not to feel disappointed. My needs, or rather neediness that it was often labeled, became something that I buried. Basically, the “me” that I truly was, became hidden and the “me” that people saw was the person that protected my pain and hurt. This was the cycle of life and parenting. My mom was treated that way, and therefore she just continued to treat me in the same way.
After years of work, I was able to find the real “me” and allow that to shine. As we grow in conscientiousness, we become much more aware of these patterns and how they are playing out. Does that mean that they are less painful? I believe that the pain is seen in a different way. As you awaken and see the world as it is, you begin to look at the behaviors of others on a continuum of consciousness. When people carry the shame and the cycle of unworthiness from their own childhood, they are just portraying where they are in their level of consciousness. They have not yet awakened. We cannot fix this or alter this, only understand and accept this.
In many families today, the conditioning is playing a very large role in how parents are parenting. There is not a lot of thought, just reaction. “My parents did it this way and I turned out okay, so it must be right.” There is no “right”. I encourage all parents to take a look at how they are parenting and ask themselves is this way of parenting my choice or am I just repeating the cycle or conditioning that I was born into?
When we take time for introspection, we can hear our own heart and soul speaking. Meditation is a great practice to be able to clear space and alleviate clutter so we can hear our true selves. Perhaps during this time, we can really tap into what we want this picture to look like with our kids, what we want for our family, the legacy we want to leave, and the love and acceptance. What does that look like in your own heart and how can you bring that to the forefront in raising your kids?