"Yummii - I'm so worried about my teenage daughter. I'm scared - really scared. She is going "boy" crazy, lying to us and your newsletter hit home. So ... how do I learn to love myself?"
When we get into this "gridlock" with our children we tend to think "I have to work harder at being patient and present". And then we get so frustrated at them, we give up. Then the guilt cycle starts.
It's draining. The fighting with our children is overwhelming.
And we know how much they need us - and we don't know what to do....and the pull to turn away from them is so strong or the pressure to "fix them" is heightened.
Either the rebel in us comes out OR the perfectionist.
When this happens, the parts of us that we don't love show up.
Because.. if you think back on moments you have with your children, the most testing moments, and you remember the words you speak and the actions you take and reflect on the following:
"Did you do what was it loving to you?"
The answer would probably be a "No.".
Even if you're "desperate" to fix the connection - you can feel the neediness within you.
The fear of a loss of love - is that loving to you? When you're acting from a place of neediness and desperation?
Here's what's happening. You are unable to hold space.
It's your hurt inner-child with unmet needs that is parenting your child. Think of it as your teenage self, parenting your teenager.
Or your 7-year-old self, parenting your 7-year-old.
If you're having challenges with your teenager, it's predictable that you as a teenager didn't feel supported and loved. It doesn't mean your parents didn't love you - it does mean that in "your world" you couldn't feel it, receive it, trust it.
If you're having challenges with your 7-year-old, it's predictable that you as a 7-year-old didn't feel "held".
Maybe your parents weren't around enough, maybe they expected more from you and failed to recognise that you're still a child, maybe they forced you to grow up and be responsible for their emotional needs - and you're holding the weight of the family.
What does this have to do with loving yourself?
Meet your inner-child that felt lonely, unheard, unheld, unseen, sad, angry, rejected, abandoned, invalidated - with Love.
This is meeting Fear, with Love.
Most predictably, you're unconsciously playing out a version of one your parents with your child.
You're screaming like your mother. You're hitting like your father.
You're emotionally enmeshed like your mother. You're withholding love like your father.
... Any maybe you think, no, I'm definitely not like my parents. I'm making sure of that.
...Then you'll go to the other extreme.
You'll be a perfectionist in your parenting worried about every little thing you say and do, hypersensitive - and parenting is obsessive versus being joyful.
More of the same. There's no freedom there. Your child can feel your angst.
You aren't "free" to be you. You aren't free to embrace your humanity. You are then putting their needs first and putting yours last.
So then, is this loving to you?.. The answer, No.
How can it be if you're constantly on edge and judging yourself for not being enough? and where you can do better?.
Instead of the voice of your mother or father criticising you, you've replaced it with your own voice.
How do you then, learn to love yourself?
I had such a response from the previous newsletter and this was the question that was most asked.
The start of the enquiry would be this question.
What do you find hard or where are you challenged by loving yourself?
In my work with my clients, they make profound shifts in their relationship to themselves, their wholeness, and how they love themselves the moment they are courageous enough to face their Fears.
And... it's hard to face your Fears alone. You need someone to hold space.
Because - the hardest thing to ever do in this world, in this form, in this body is this.
There is nothing more challenging, more confronting, and excruciating than letting go of who you think you are (because this is requiring a version of you that you know to die), to learn to trust your heart and love you.
Learning to unconditionally accept and love yourself will change everything for you, your children, and your family.
I wish I could tell you it would be easy.
Find someone that could guide you. Find someone that can hold space for you while you're "learning" to hold space for that wounded inner-child.
When you feel you're held - you're liberated.
So now... what is the cost of you not loving on you?
Just reflect on that for a second. What is the cost? If your parenting continues like this, what will happen? What is the cost for you? Your relationship? Your experience of life?
I truly get we are all doing the best we can with what we have. This isn't about shaming or judging parenting.
And I am committed to bringing awareness to the "cost" of not healing our inner child - because the healing is in our power.
Pain that isn't processed, is projected.
When we are in Fear with our children, we are projecting our pain.
....and this isn't loving to you.
And here's truth. It'll be one of your biggest regrets when you're reflecting back on your life: "I wish I was kinder and more loving to me...".
My invitation, heal your hurt. Meet it with Love.
Have the courage to face your fears, with the most profound and Highest Love.