I am in the car with Avery. Earlier that day, there must have been a moment where I was frustrated or annoyed. I actually can't even remember what happened.
So we're in the car driving to the supermarket... and this is how I conversation went:
"Mummy are you sad? - Did I make you sad?". He asked as I was finding a parking spot in the carpark.
We parked the car. I got out on his side. Unbuckled his seat. Held his face and sad - "Avery, I want you to know something - You can never make me or anyone sad...If mummy is ever sad, that's mine to own. You are not responsible for anyone's happiness or emotions."
No-one in this world has a hold of your emotions. No-one. No-one can make you happy. They may inspire happiness however you CHOOSE to be happy when you're around them.
No-one can make you angry. You react with anger because YOU react with anger.
Because truly, if we were that powerful and we had a magic wand to have a hold on another's emotional state - we would choose "happiness" for those we love.
Happiness is a choice. A very very personal choice. Some people choose to be miserable. Some people choose to be resentful. Some people choose to be optimistic.
It's all a choice.
I get that the world has trained us to think that we are responsible for another's emotional state - and this is why so many people do things out of obligation, feel responsible for more than they need to, and have a heavyweight in their experience of life.
You are not responsible for your child's happiness. You are however responsible for being a space for them to discover how to understand happiness and for them to OWN their happiness.
Your child is NOT responsible for making you happy, angry, frustrated or sad. YOU choose to respond that way based on some ideal within your mind or unspoken expectations that has nothing to do with how they see the world.
When I first met John, one thing I promised him is that my emotional state is mine to own and I promise to never blame him for the way I'm feeling.
The blame game is a habit. A powerless habit that few have questioned. The blame game is something we unconsciously inherit and it is an "assumed" behaviour where NO-ONE WINS.
When it comes to relationships - whether it's the parent/ child, marriage, friendships, the relationship to yourself - Blame doesn't get you anywhere. Blame is avoiding the responsibility of doing the thinking, of what it's going to take, to change a habit, to create connection.
Because your mind thinks it is easier to make someone else responsible than having to do the deep thinking on; "What was it that got triggered in me?".
I wasn't always like this. The blame game was something I played really well... until one day, I realised, if you play the blame game, it comes at a huge cost.
It costs you your power. It costs you your sense of self-worth and confidence. It costs you your joy in life. It costs you your connection in relationships. It costs you your courage to grow and want to do better.
Imagine a world - where the next generation grew up feeling empowered and took responsibility for their emotions? We wouldn't have a world run on resentment or addicted to drama.
It starts with what we teach children about emotions, and us taking charge of owning our emotional state.
Instead of saying; "Oh you make me so happy" - what if instead, we said; "Oh I am so happy and grateful to be your mum!".
Instead of saying; "Oh you're making me angry" - what if instead, we said; "Ok I'm feeling angry - and mummy is asking for a moment so I can work through this.."
Living from a place of love has clear and distinct habits versus living from a place of fear. Nothing brings out our sub-conscious mind more than the key relationships in our lives - from parenthood to our loving relationships.
Ownership = Love state. Blame = Fear state.
Your choice. Your power.
One gives you access to grow and loosen the grip of the fear. The other seduces you into a false sense of security at the cost of your own power and connection with the one you love.
So... food for thought. What would life be like if you stopped giving yourself permission to blame?