Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 150: To Dwell or Not to Dwell

Oh self-discovery, how I loathe all the work you make me do. But oh how I appreciate what you bring when I find the strength to change and grow as I learn. *sigh*

I'm finding out that I'm a dweller. When something catches my attention, positive or negative (let's be honest, more often negative than positive), it tends to stay there. Sometimes for too long.

Since letting go doesn't come naturally to me, it generally only happens when undertaken with conscious effort. And while I work on living more openly and letting feelings, thoughts, and experiences freely come in and flow out as they are meant to, I'm noticing the powerful, albeit unintentional effect my dwelling has on Jackson.

He loves to talk about his feelings, and whether that feeds my tendency to dwell or whether my dwelling brought about this trait in him, it's where he's at. And I'm noticing that he sometimes has a hard time moving on too. But why wouldn't he? He hasn't seen it modeled in me and I really haven't tried to teach it to him either.

So in thinking about this, I've found that I don't know where the healthy line is drawn. When do his feelings really need to be processed and talked through, and when can I encourage him to let go and move on?

I don't want him to ever feel as though I've blown off an experience he considered significant, but I also don't want him to go through life having to see every experience as a monumental event to be dwelled on and every emotion as something to work through. Trying to follow his cues at this point leads to lots of dwelling since he's so intensely thoughtful and sensitive, which leads me to believe that gentle encouragement from me is warranted.

I'm hoping this is something that time, thought (dwelling?), and a little helpful advice will bring to a more conclusive end, so I'll pose the question: How do you handle this with your kids?

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