I used to believe that to be a great parent, I had to be perfect. But in the need to meet those standards in my mind, I lost myself. And what I eventually realized is that as I did, I set an example for my family to lose themselves. That’s when I made a choice to stop parenting from my head and began living from my heart.
Parenting from your head says that you live by a set of standards in your mind that tell you how you must be, or how you feel your children must be. Parenting from your heart, on the other hand, is letting go of the need to do things right. It’s about listening to the messages in your heart and allowing them to be the guide. And as you do this for yourself, you become more joyous and abundant, setting an example for your family to live from their hearts as well.
I’ve been practicing and teaching this message to moms for years, so you can only imagine how I felt recently when I found myself in my head once again, reacting negatively to my kids as they followed their hearts. And when I say negatively, I don’t mean just being grumpy. I’m talking about experiencing that feeling when your whole body tightens and the hairs stand up all over due to fear and a need to control. You know what I’m talking about whether you’re a parent or not.
So let me tell you what happened.
I got remarried a couple of years ago after my late husband passed away. My new hubby, Charlie, and I blended our families. We have three girls between us. Mine are Mackenzie and Kolbi, ages 19 and 17. And Charlie’s daughter, Haylee, is 18. Yep, you’re right! That’s three teenaged girls right in a row! Most people shiver at the thought of that. But we’ve been very blessed. By practicing parenting from the heart, we’ve done really well blending our kids.
All three of our girls are amazing young women. Each is smart, kind and beautiful…and very different.
Haylee is extremely artsy. She has an incredible sense of style. No one in our family is like her. Well, maybe her dad. He still prides himself on his green platform shoes he wore to his prom back in the 70’s!
On any day of the week you might see Haylee wearing a headband…sort of like hippies used to wear. Only Haylee’s often have sequins and special designs. But somehow, she pulls them off and always looks as cute as a bug when she wears them.
My girls are a little more main stream. I hadn’t thought much about this until Haylee came into our lives. Everything was cool and we all admired her way with clothes and accessories… until she got her nose pierced.
I didn’t think much about this until I realized that Haylee might influence my girls. That feeling showed up about a year ago, but I just blew it off. I did, however, find myself resisting Haylee whenever the topic of piercings came up.
I’m not one to judge people by how they dress or by how they adorn themselves. And I never gave much thought towards those with holes in their noses and belly buttons. I do have to admit I often wondered why someone would get their eyebrows pierced, but it wasn’t like I really cared or thought they were “bad” because of their choices. I just didn’t get it. However, I couldn’t blow off my underlying fears anymore when a short time ago Haylee decided to go get another piercing….and this time, Mackenzie went with her.
As I learned what the girls were about to do, my heart shut down and I went completely into control mode. I wanted to scream, “NOOOOOO!” But I didn’t. I managed to avoid that kind of tantrum, but not before throwing some negative remarks at them, letting them know I was completely against this.
I knew something was awry inside. I know that when I react this way, it’s because I have a false limiting belief that is wreaking havoc on me. Understanding this is the only reason I didn’t “lose it” completely. This wasn’t about the girls getting pierced….this was about me.
I went into gratitude, for I knew a healing was occurring. I set an intention to let my pain go and began to dive within. Then Mackenzie came home.
“Mom, what was wrong with you?” she asked. “You were acting like a little kid. What was going on?”
“I know, honey. And I’m sorry. I’m not afraid of what people will think of you if you have another hole in your ear. It’s not about that. For some reason I am afraid that by getting another piercing, you will bring negative energy to you and someone will hurt you. I love you so much. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
All of the sudden, tears poured from the deepest parts of my soul. I flashed back to when I was fifteen years old. While auditioning for the directory of a modeling school, he molested me.
THIS was the cause of my reaction to my kids. It had nothing to do with getting a piercing. I just wanted them to be protected as a result of my own pain. And with that realization, all of my fear and resistance went away.
A few weeks later, I was preparing a class for my Enlightened Mom community. The topic was “Four Step to Releasing Anger, Frustration and Blame,” with the focus on getting to the beliefs that cause the pain in the first place. I decided to share this story about the girls. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t asked what the specific false belief was that had created my pain. When I asked, I heard in my head, “If I draw attention to myself, I will get hurt.”
I couldn’t believe what I heard! I knew immediately that not only had this subconscious programming affected the way I interacted with my kids, but also with my work and my whole entire life! Woo hoo! What a release!! I am so grateful for my girls following their hearts that day!
My kids are my greatest gifts. Every time I react to them, I know it’s time to go within. And with each healing that takes place, I become a more joyous, abundant and loving mom…parenting from the heart.
Thoughts for Your Journey
- In what areas of your life do you want to control the people around you?
- What pain does this bring up for you?
- What is the belief you’re holding onto that could be holding you back?