A Case for Curiosity, Part 2
Last month we delved into cultivating curiosity for our sons. Whether you found that uncomfortable or enlightening, the process of becoming a little more curious (and less judgmental) opens up possibilities that just aren’t available otherwise.
Every September I check in with myself to see what I might need more or less of in my own life. It’s a great time to continue with curiosity, but this time we’re going to focus on you!
It is so easy to keep thinking about our situations with our sons in the same way we always have:
If I was better at this mom-thing, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Those times I was really tired and didn’t show up the way I wanted to (and knew I should) ~ that’s why we have these problems.
None of this should be happening; I don’t deserve this (especially after all of blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put into this boy!).
If you find these kinds of thoughts familiar, I encourage you to take a step back and see the judgment they heap on you. It’s almost as if you believe that if you were a better mom that you could prevent all the heartache and chaos and fear. And it totally makes sense because you would probably do anything to make everything better ~ for him and for you. You would move heaven and earth to push the rewind button and undo some of his choices ~ and some of yours. You would probably even consider running 100 miles if it meant your rebellious, challenging, aggravating son would become the young man you dream of him becoming.
But just as all the judgments you have for your son build barriers between the two of you, all of the assumptions you pile on yourself (even if you’ve never said them outside of your own head) become a barrier between you and your intuition, between you and the peace you desire in your heart and soul.
So, let’s loosen up some of those nagging criticisms you have of yourself with some curiosity. What if you considered, at least for a moment, that:
You are doing this mother-thing just right. How would you show up differently in your next interaction with your son if you believed this?
It’s OK to be sad but it’s also OK to feel peace sometimes. Life is always a mix between the good and the bad. How would your experience right now be different if it was OK to acknowledge and feel the good?
Your relationship with your son could be stronger at the end of this tough time because you went through these things together. How would considering this affect you today?
Approaching your own beliefs with curiosity can be the difference between sinking, barely keeping your head above water, and thriving during these difficult times with your son. And when so much of your life seems out of your control, why not put some of your time and energy into something you have complete control of: your perspective.
I wish you continued peace as you continue to navigate your own situation.
It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing the end of Find Peace in Parenting.
It has been my honor to be a safe place for you as you worry and stress about your son and the choices he’s making. It’s been my hope these past few years that, at the least, you knew you weren’t alone in your struggles, but also that you can thrive and be the mom you want to be even if your life feels like it’s spinning out of control because of how your son is currently living.
There are no real answers for us, as moms, if our sons get to dictate all of our feelings. The good news is: they don’t. For better or worse, that task is 100% ours ~ and I happen to believe that is a really good thing!
Please keep this in mind as you move forward in your own situation. Although Find Peace in Parenting is coming to a close, the ideas and perspectives you have learned here are enduring. It’s often nice to wish for a quick fix to our problems but remember what you’re really after is a relationship with your son that endures through the thick-and-thin of life. That is where our power lies. That is where peace is found.
And peace is my hope for you, now and always.