This month, I’ve been teaching you some of my favorite strategies for creating a life you love. These are tools I’ve used in my life that work for me. I hope you’ve chosen to give some of them a try.
I’d also like to remind you that I’m a student, always learning from my own life. I’m a fully fallible human experiencing life just as you are.
I believe that life’s experiences are meant to teach us the lessons we need to learn. With that in mind, I’ve decided I’m going to share some of what I learned this month.
#1: I learned that I’m not meant to protect my kids from their struggles.
Both of my kids had some struggles this month. As difficult as it is to see them disappointed and hurt, I don’t think it’s my job to keep them from those experiences. Rather, I believe it’s my job to help show them how to move through the difficult times and come out stronger.
When they were in the midst of their challenges, I was tempted to protect them from feeling the hurt by distracting them, intervening or convincing them that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Instead, I encouraged them to feel their emotions and let them know that it was ok to feel the sadness, anger, disappointment and hurt.
Both of my kids surprised me with how quickly they moved through their emotions. They didn’t stay stuck in them or dwell in feeling sorry for themselves. Once they had processed their emotions, they dusted themselves off and continued on their way.
It wasn't easy or pleasant to watch them struggle! However, my hope is that they’re learning that disappointment and hurtful events are a natural part of life and that they’re meant to teach us something. I hope that I’m teaching them that it’s safe to feel negative emotions. I hope they’re learning that the only thing they control is how they react to situations. I hope they realize through each difficult experience that they’re strong and resilient beings.
#2: I also learned that I’m not meant to protect my kids from their mistakes.
My son struggled this month with time management and homework. This time, instead of letting him learn from his experiences, I attempted to fix, manage and control every detail of his life. I caught myself overreacting and creating conflict between us that didn’t need to happen.
Instead of connecting with him when I picked him up from school, I immediately would start interrogating him about his homework. I found myself feeling angry and resentful when he wasn’t fully receptive to the wisdom I was imparting. :)
Finally, I took a step back, and became aware of myself, my actions and the energy I was putting out to him. I reminded myself that 7th grade is tough and that when I was 13, I certainly didn’t do everything perfectly. I reminded myself that just because he wasn’t doing things the way I wanted didn’t mean that he wasn’t doing them. I reminded myself (and him) of how responsible he is, how hard he’s working and how tough this age can be. I immediately felt compassion and appreciation for him instead of frustration.
Once my emotions shifted, the conflict between us eased. I’m now giving him more space to figure things out on his own. He’s learning and navigating his own way and that’s ok.
#3: I learned that the work I’m doing is bigger than me and my ego.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in self-doubt. I’m new to sharing my ideas in this way, and it’s tempting to think that there are better, wiser, more experienced teachers for people to learn from. It’s easy to shrink into thoughts of not being enough and to wonder if my message is impacting people in the way I hope it will.
This month I learned that it’s not my job to know. My job is to share what comes through me and to trust that when people are ready, they will get what they need in the way that they need it. I may never know, and that’s ok.
I simply learned that it’s not about me. Thank you to Rita, Debbie, Jane and Darla for teaching me this lesson.
#4: I learned that when you release doing things perfectly, you open up space for things to FLOW.
I can’t tell you how much angst I’ve experienced trying to figure out how to do this newsletter “perfectly”. I’ve spent countless hours worried about what to write about and how to share my thoughts in the perfect way.
Once I shifted my perspective and decided that I wasn’t going to worry about the format or timing, and that I wasn’t going to have any “rules” for my writing, the words started FLOWING. Right now, I have an abundance of ideas and stories I can’t wait to share with you. I know it’s not perfect, but I no longer care.
Now I’m looking for other areas of my life where perfection might be holding me back. I’m looking to dismantle more of my unconscious “rules” because I’m enjoying the freedom I feel and would love to feel even more. I’ll let you know if I find any!
Now it’s your turn. What have you learned this month? Take a moment to acknowledge it and let it sink in. When you’re conscious of what you’re learning, you’re more apt to feel that life is happening FOR you. Cheers to that.
Love, light and learning,