Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 44: Freedom Conceptualized Part II

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

When I know better, I have to do better - and I always know better. If it's possible, I'm informed to a fault. There are times when, instead of feeling empowered by information, I feel controlled by it - I let it fill my head with shoulds and rules instead of choices and guidelines. Of course it's not the information that is the problem, but what I do with it. Poorly managed, information sets the stage for the constant internal power struggle that inevitably seeps out to manifest in my relationships.

For those of you unfamiliar with the kind of knock-down-drag-out fight happening in my head on a daily basis, let me give you a window. I know the objective importance of respectful communication and honoring my child's needs as equal to my own, and when I fall short of the goal (which of course is perfection), the internal monologue goes something like this: "What you're doing is wrong. Stop yelling and get it together! You're failing him. You're damaging him. You're not a good enough mother for him. Just stop! What is wrong with you?!" 

I literally fight myself in the very same way I'm trying to avoid fighting my child. I know it's neither effective nor healthy for him, so why would it be for me? I feed my own power struggle by trying to be an authoritarian parent to myself instead of accepting where I'm at without judgment, understanding the basic needs that underlie the feelings and actions I'm projecting, and finding a way to meet those needs instead of trying to treat the symptom by controlling the behavior. 

When I try to enforce an arbitrary standard of behavior on myself, I forfeit freedom and feed my inner control freak. In a sense, I steal my own power, which in turn leaves me searching for ways to feel powerful again. And trying to feel powerful and in control parenting a two year old, as we all know, is a recipe for disaster. In the most basic sense, I'm not communicating effectively with myself, and it makes me unable to communicate with others effectively.

This is a concept that I believe is at the core of my personal and parenting struggles. So it seems, since mothering duties are calling now, that this will be an ongoing posting topic. Hopefully all the rambling and stream-of-consciousness writing isn't totally useless for those of your reading!

1 comment:

  1. These posts are very helpful to me :) They run along similar lines to what I think to myself sometimes. It helps to see other people do it to.