You are the voice in your child’s head.
How’s that for a thought?
I was in a group and we were discussing the way we talk to ourselves. As people shared it became apparent that the way we speak to ourselves is something we learned how to do. As people were opening up about how they talk to themselves in that most private of times, we noticed the critical tones that most of us used. “Why did you do that? What will people think? That wasn’t good enough. No-one will love you if you are like this.” For many of us, self-talk was a running commentary on what we were not doing well enough combined with some mean scare tactics like, “If I don’t do it right then…”
Someone commented that we talk to ourselves as though we are children and then it unfolded that the way we talk to ourselves seems to mimic how we were talked to as children. So that means that when you are alone with yourself, your default mode is to hear your own parents or caretakers in your head. It seems to be that – unless we specifically make effort to change this – no matter how old you are or long it has been since your heard your parents speak to you in this way, when you talk to yourself, you use their voice and tone to do it.
Whether this is a good thought or a horrible thought for you depends on the role your parents played for you and what part of their message you took into yourself.
I had a beautiful example of this when my child was two years old. He’s a timid guy by nature and was often scared to do physical things like climbing or swinging high. I would encourage him gently saying, “You can do it” in a particular sing-song voice. I only know it was a sing-song voice because one day we were at the play park and I noticed him starting to climb up a ramp. I was near but not close by enough to help. I waited, watching, to see what he would do. As he tried I saw him falter, pause, consider going back down and then he quietly said in a sing-song tone, “You can do it” and continued laboriously climbing till he made it to the top. Then he looked really pleased with himself. I on the other hand was completely struck by his using my voice and words to encourage himself. He had integrated my message into himself. I was now the voice in his head.
Since this brazen demonstration, I have tried to make sure that the messages I give my children will serve them for the rest of their lives. I know what the messages in my head have done to and for me and I feel so blessed to have the magical powers to give my own children good voices and messages.
As parents we can use our magical powers for good or evil.
Of course I very often don’t get it right. I can hear myself in their conversations with each other. When one brother speaks in short sharp accusations to the other brother I see myself too. Then I step into my full Hypocrite Regalia and say in a short sharp accusatory tone, “Don’t speak to your brother that way!”
Ah, you can’t win them all 😀
Consciousness is what we’re after here. Just be aware that you are building a human being and your voice will be the guidance in their head in their most private moments with themselves. What will they hear in their mind when they face a struggle? A disappointment? Need courage?
For that matter, what is the voice in your own head like?
If your voice is not as loving or encouraging as you would like it to be, actively change it now. Its never too late to use your Parent Magic for good. Even adults still listen to their parents’ feedback with extra attention.
It’s never too late to say something loving and encouraging to your child. Try to say at least one thing a day. Build a human who can love him or herself – I mean both your child and yourself.
The young man who was the ringleader of the gang which had been causing all the trouble in the community was summoned to sit at the fire with the elder and the warrior.
It was already dark and the elder took some time to fill his long pipe. The other two waited for him to begin speaking. They sat in the golden glow of the fire in a lengthening silence, the younger man growing increasingly restless and irritated as it stretched on. The warrior sat strong and powerful. He deferred to the elder and threw occasional glances of angry disdain at the younger man’s callous impatience.
The elder, fully engaged with his task, seemed oblivious to the growing tension – yet he was not. He was choosing his time. When he finally spoke his tone was soft and gentle. Turning to the young man he asked, “What is it you need?”
The young man, who had perfected his mask of arrogant nonchalance, sneered at this question, “Need? My boys and I don’t need anything! We do what we want. We are powerful. If we need something, we take it.”
The warrior moved restlessly, clearly wanting to meet this challenge. The elder made no show of recognising this. The warrior sat still.
“But what of feelings?”
Now the young man really laughed, “Feelings? They only cause trouble! I tried those in
Being a parent can either be a distraction from the goal of becoming the shining, glorious beings we inherently are or it can fast forward you towards it. I learned this when I became a parent and lost my mind and my self-control a good few times. It all depends on what you do with it. The clay is there, what are you going to make from it?
Knowledge is power, said Foucault famously. The way I see it is this; everything in my life offers me insight into myself. It offers me
I had a dream about my Facebook page last night.
Really? That’s what I’m dreaming about? Don’t I have better things to use my unconscious time for?
Apparently there’s something about my FB page that is hitting a nerve for me. So here it is – my strong reaction to something. And of course by now I know that to follow the clues offered by my strong reactions means to find my liberation.
I dreamed my Facebook page “So You Think Parenting is About The Children?” had been
(Click here to read part 1 of this article)
If an illness or disaster or betrayal happens and you ignore your truth during and after it unfolds you are bound to feel totally terrified, alone and unable to handle it. Then of course you can’t trust yourself – and you sure can’t trust life or other people! But that’s only because you are not using your amazing tools. You are walking right past your tool box and pretending you can’t manage the task at hand.
Your tool box is within you and, believe me, anytime you turn inwards and ask, “If I loved myself what would I choose now?” you will be handed the precise tool you need in that precise moment – if you listen with your heart, that is, not your head. Our head is a big part of what misleads us.
When the answer you receive is your truth it comes with a boost of hope. You will suddenly feel an
Sometimes after being hurt people will ask me, “How can I trust other people again? How can I trust life?” My answer is, “It’s not people or life that you need to learn to trust, it’s yourself.”
Life, as we know, has an unnerving habit of changing and throwing us curveballs – some of which whack us hard and hurt a lot. When someone asks, “How can I trust life?” what they generally mean is, “How can I relax, let go and feel safe if life won’t keep still, not change, do as I want and guarantee me only nice experiences?” Come to think of it, that’s what they mean about trusting other people too.
As usual, here I am, writing a snippet on a huge topic BUT sometimes the most complicated things can boil down to a simple message. If you trust yourself, you don’t have to worry about anything that may or may not happen in your life.
We each have areas in which we trust ourselves and others that we don’t. When you trust yourself in an area it means you don’t stress about it. You might think about it or plan for it, but it doesn’t get you in the gut with that gripping fear feeling – not even mildly. You can see other people really struggling with it and even while you acknowledge how difficult it is, it doesn’t frighten you. For example someone who trusts themselves to be able to handle illness doesn’t have regular or specific fears about getting ill. They may have illness or be aware they are at risk but it doesn’t frighten them deeply. Their attitude is, “I will deal with that if it ever happens. Until then I’m going to get on with my life and not give it much thought.” The same attitude is true for people who trust themselves to cope with an off day, a barking dog, a traffic fine, a natural disaster, an accident, a crime or relationship betrayals. It’s a relaxed kind of, “It would suck but I would cope with it. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen. Now let me enjoy my morning” attitude.
Sometimes it gets a little tricky to know if what you are doing is really self-loving or avoidance of something that will be good for you to face.
I recently went through a patch of overwhelm because I had too many projects on the go, too much work, demands from home and family and self… you know, modern life. Feeling overwhelmed made me look at some patterns I have of giving too much and of measuring my self-worth and loveability on whether I am valuable and useful to others. When I asked, “If I loved myself what would I choose now?” my truth answer was, “To try to learn otherwise”. I realised I almost never gave myself time to just be, so I gave myself permission to say no and to withdraw from my work and projects more and more and just take time to sloth about. It was exciting and scary and very challenging to do it. As I learned to do it more I felt good and satisfied. At times I felt confused and anxious while not doing anything and that led me to explore what fear-based beliefs were driving my need to be productive. It was good and helpful to me. I learned more about doing nothing and how I see myself and my value. I felt listened to and cared for by me – and this made me feel safe. Hooray!
Then it all changed.
I began to notice that