Did you know, for the first seven years of our life, from when we take our first breath as we enter this realm called Earth, to about seven years old - we don't "question" or analyse the world.
In these seven years, our brain is making sense of the world. It is taking in everything around us as "the truth". It is our "ultimate reality".
Neurons that fire together, wire together. Whatever patterns we witnessed, behaviours we experienced, conversations we heard or were engaged in - the more frequent, the more it is reinforced in our brains so much so that it is programmed and on auto-pilot.
So... our bodies are at the receiving end of our thoughts. Based on how the neurons are firing and wiring, the result is an end emotion or feeling. Emotions and feelings are chemical reactions that are released in our body. I also love this definition of Emotions = "energy" in motion.
When you were a child, if you were told not to cry, if there wasn't a caretaker that provided you safety or a sense that you mattered, if you didn't feel seen, heard or understood, if you weren't given a voice or feel empowered to "speak" up, or if you felt unloved more than loved for who you are - all that emotion, all that feeling can potentially hijack your experience of life - as the energy hasn't moved through your body. It is trapped.
Here is how it can play out as a child:
There are other "realities" that we may have adopted:
Reflecting on what it was like for you growing up - how does this play out in your parenting?
In your partnership with your partner/ spouse?
And in your life with your experience of yourself?
What is your story about life?
... Now let's extend this exploration - what is your child's world like?
Most of the challenges that come up when we become parents are wounds seeking healing and love from our inner child; otherwise, we do more of what our parents did, or we try to avoid what our parents did - and we parent from a place of unresolved inherited pain and hurt. Our relationships and how we show up are from a place of unresolved inherited grief.
By rewriting your story about life, you have a chance to influence your child's story about their reality... This is the gift of being a parent.
Motherhood isn't hard - digging deep and finding forgiveness, making peace with our past, knowing that we are the master of our future and allowing ourselves to be worthy of a magical experience of life - that's the hard part.
So much of Motherhood is hindered by our invisible need for perfection, fear of the future, fear of what other's think, fear of not knowing who we are - bringing love to that fear - that's the work. That's what's hard — loving the parts of ourselves that we deem "unlovable".
Parenting together isn't hard - the challenge lives in creating space for one another so that we both heal the wounds from our past, dare to be vulnerable and share the limitations that we have inherited - and be daring to break free from these limitations. The willingness to grow and heal together is the challenge.
The pain in our past can serve a great purpose - it can be a driver to heal, to expand, a wake-up call, an opportunity to know that life can be different. Our past isn't our future - unless we put it there.
History only repeats itself if we allow it.
This chapter of our lives, as we navigate parenting has less to do with "moulding" our children and more to do with peeling away the layers we have built as a defence mechanism between our heart and life.
When we live from our heart - when our heart is connected to life, everything always works out.
Challenges are met with compassion and perceived as opportunities, we dare to speak up, creating connection and partnership in parenting is MORE important than silencing what's important to us and trying to keep the peace - and mostly, we know we matter.
Cultivating a practice of loving ourselves, of being kind and compassionate to ourselves, of respecting our mind/body/ spirit, and being our own best friend is one of the most selfless things we can do - and from here, we can dance in the chaos and dance with life.
I don't know what it was like for you growing up....and I want to tell the inner child that lives within you, that she is worthy of love, that she is worthy of feeling safe, adored, seen, and understood. That her needs matter - and she doesn't need to live out her past or avoid it anymore.
I love you, and I honour you. Love is limitless, and it is our true nature.
You may have inherited a story from your parents and their upbringing, and you can choose to keep that inheritance or let it go.