Can an Eye Roll Turn into a Hug?
What would you give to turn an eye roll into a hug? Or an angry teen face into a smile? For me this is priceless and the reward for doing the hard work of untangling from my child. I grew up thinking that other people made me feel. And that anger, shame and uncertainty were so uncomfortable, I conditioned myself to avoid, repress and numb them.
So when my teenaged daughter got angry and yelled at me for not waking her up on time, it was almost impossible to not take that at face value. I got defensive and argued back. Then I dropped into "I'm not enough," I blew it. Both understandable reactions, but neither got me what I really wanted, which was harmony and connection with my daughter.
That was this morning and it was shocking how quickly my thoughts spun out and derailed me. "I can't believe she yelled at me! I didn't mean to. How could I have yelled back at her, when she was barely even awake. How could I have done this? I ruined our morning. She's now late and stressed. It messed up her plans. She's angry at me and frustrated. We both have enough on our plates and didn't need this." And on and on."
Then I caught myself spinning out in thoughts. I stopped, got some tea and did a body scan, a practice from the 5 Steps To Connect Framework. I notice what is happening in my body, where there is tension, tight muscles, sensation in my stomach, how I'm breathing. I could tell from my shallow, fast breathing and glitching stomach, tight jaw that I felt mad and frustrated. I also felt uncertain what to do to re-connect with my daughter. I then realized I needed to first re-connect with my center.
I s l o w e d everything down and paid attention to by body and my breathing. I realized that the frustration energy AT myself was pointing towards my values of wanting ease and harmony and connection. When I feel separated from these values which the yelling and my thoughts created, I'm no longer present and able to feel into and connect to what I care about. And it all happens so fast. I let my daughter's energy derail mine, then let my inner critic push me further away from deep center.
Once centered having tuned into and experienced the feelings and focused on what I valued, I went back into my daughters room where she was getting ready like a whirling dervish. I said I was sorry, and from my voice she could hear I meant it. I pulled her in for a solid hug and she sank in. She hates being at odds with me. Later she texted that she loved me and she was sorry she dumped her frustration at me as well.