Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What is it about, really?

So often, I discover that 'it' (the thing I'm using to make myself uncomfortable, pissed off, anxious, afraid) isn't really about what I thought it was about. Yesterday, I became frustrated with a little girl who said and did a few things to my daughter that I would have preferred she didn't. I thought it was about... well, the dialogue is happening faster in my head than I can type, so let's just say, it leads back to beliefs about....ME and my not being a good parent. Instead of giving you the blow by blow on that one, I'll share another self dialogue I did about my son. That day, he was drooling and I was...well, you'll read it below! As you go through today, be sure to ask yourself what 'it' is really about. It's probably about you!

5/10/2009. Although I have been taught 'acceptance' as a foundational attitude, I don't think I really got it. Oh yes, I did accept my 2 year old son and the various differences between him and other 'typical' children, but I think it was conditional acceptance. After all, I'm going to fix him.

So his not being 'fixed' at 9 was a gift to me, to help me look back at this issue of loving acceptance. And I keep looking at it. This morning, he was drinking some juice and drooling. I didn't accept that. I felt my rejection of it in my body, the quickening of my heart, the tension in my shoulders and chest. Well, at least I recognise those signals as information for me. So allow me to explore my beliefs with you.

Why would I be uncomfortable about Jaedon drooling? Because I don't like how drooling looks... well, deeper than that, I don't like how drooling is perceived by others, like he is some kind of incomplete person. OK, let's say that this is true, and that people will see him this way, why do I feel uncomfortable about that? Well, if they see him this way, they won't love him like I love him. (note: even if he wasn't drooling, they all probably wouldn't love him like I love him, but let me not interrupt myself yet) Who are some examples of the 'they'? Family, my friends and the people on his team both now and in the future. Actually, it's more than that. Family and friends wouldn't love him because I haven't done everything to make him lovable. And, they would judge me for the things they are uncomfortable with. Without any more questions, I know that I also judge myself as inadequate, so Jaedon's drooling is somehow a sign of my own failure. My failures are reasons for people not to love and accept me...

So my fear of not being loved and accepted has me not loving and accepting my son... hmmm...

Whoa! OK, lots going on there, but these aren't new revelations for me. So let me sit with this for a while. Those voices of judgement are my own, and they are competing with the other voices that are now stronger than they were before, the ones that say "Every day in every way, I am getting better and better". I am an ever changing organism, created to grow and improve, committed to that path for myself so I know I'm always improving. I accept me today. I accept who I am on this journey and I don't have to judge my growth to motivate myself to improve. I improve because I choose to, not because I make myself feel bad. I celebrate the small steps and the big steps I have taken to move myself along this path that I want to be on.

I appreciate the motivation that Jaedon is for me. I am focused on loving him just as he is. While I want change, change is not a prerequisite for loving him (or anyone else! but that's for another blog). No matter what others think of me, I love me. How can I love my neighbor as myself, with such conditional self love? As I love Jay and love myself, I can then freely want him to not drool. Not because I want to be loved, to look like I'm doing a good job, or other loaded implications. I can just want him to not drool because I think saliva has more benefit to his body in his mouth, because his lips open signal weaker muscle tone in his mouth area and that will affect his articulation and I want him to communicate clearly (and not because clear language says anything about me!).

I can love me, work on keeping that belief strong, love him, work on keeping that belief strong and therefore freely want, but not NEED change, because it means nothing about who I am.

No matter what situation our loved ones are in, if our actions to them come from a place of needing to fill something up in ourselves, I think it might feel fake, disingenuous, manipulative, even. Certainly, you can't fake it with kids on the spectrum. But can you really fake it with anyone? Is this why some of our connections are as shallow as they are? Hmmm....

1 comment:

  1. I am really thrilled about the trip you're on and sharing here, exploring what's behind our seemingly automatic reactions.
    (I was having difficulty earlier posting when i put words inside of the signs bigger than/smaller than, seems the program does not like them lol)


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