Changing when healing is hard- I know first hand. Changing patterns takes time, effort, and even concentration. It takes work to train our body, mind, and soul to do things we’ve never done before. So in the beginning, it may be uncomfortable and the reactions or responses you may get may even promote you to stop trying. But here is the thing; perseverance can defeat wisdom at any time.
When we are able to implement change in our own lifestyle we then promote for our children to do the same.
“The best form of apology is changed behavior”-UNKNOWN
So here are some ways to help you through change that you can begin to implement today.
1. Begin One Thing At A Time
When we look at a behavior that we want to change or something we want to accomplish, we tend to focus on the whole picture. We begin by wanting to have the whole picture instantaneously and overload our psychological and emotional beings with the idea that when you begin, the whole picture will automatically be available.
Change takes time and patience. This is something that is practiced and there is no way around it. So practice enjoying the ride.
Have you ever put a puzzle together? I always begin by putting the pieces that look similar together, and slowly work my way to connecting them. If I were to attempt to put the whole picture together I may end up doing unproductive work. Because I am everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
So we can begin by doing one thing. As an example, if you want to stop yelling at your children, you can notice when you do it most. And just focus on that one scenario to change the way you react to it. Once you’ve mastered it, you can move on to the next thing that triggers you to yell and then work on that one.
Trying to stop all at once will only get you frustrated promoting you to quit altogether.
So start with one thing. You will notice results and then subconsciously promote positive feelings towards change. You will begin to feel confident, you will begin to feel proud of yourself for accomplishing that one thing, and in return, you will want to promote more of it because it feels good. It’s all about how we feel in the approach of anything we are doing, and the best way to do so is to do it at a level in which you can accomplish without creating frustration or negative feelings towards it.
2. Use The Dissecting Method
Especially when raising our kids, I’ve heard people say general broad things they want their child to be or do. One of the most popular I’ve heard is “I want my child to be emotionally balanced”. General statements have many broad approaches that can be overwhelming. With so many options out there today to help children be emotionally balanced it is hard to determine which is best, and most importantly knowing that it fits your child best.
So the trick is to know exactly what outcome you desire. And for this, I’ve come up with what I call “the dissecting method”.
For example, I want my daughter to be emotionally healthy. Well, I cannot pretend that just by telling her that I love her she is going to be emotionally healthy. So I ask myself- why do I want her to be emotionally healthy? Well, I want her to be emotionally healthy because I want her to be able to interact with other children and people knowing that it is ok to have boundaries, have compassion, and be able to communicate how she feels at any given time.
So what I really want is for my daughter to identify feelings so she can communicate how she feels in a healthy way that would allow her to recognize if something bothers her or hurts her so she can honor it and release it instead of bottling it up.
So this will require me to teach her about feelings, teach compassion, and allow her to interact with other people while explaining to her along the way about how she feels and other people feel. I can also find books or activities surrounding this specific topic so that they serve as tools to help me with my goal.
So now that I have a clear understanding of what I desire, it is easier for me to enforce it rather than put it on the side because it was overwhelming that I didn’t know what to do to make sure my child was emotionally healthy.
You see, when we know exactly what we want our energy and brain work in congruence to focus all of your energy on that, which in return opens the doors to receive information because we know exactly what we are looking for. So, dissect your desire, why do you want it? what outcome do you desire? and this way you know what you are working towards.
3. Forgive Yourself
Many times as parents when we make a mistake or first find out that we have been doing something wrong or something that was hindering in the emotional or physical development of our children we go into guilt and shame.
These are very powerful feelings. They hold the power to bring in more feelings, such as unworthiness, not good enough, lack, self-punishment and even anger towards ourselves.
When these feelings are created they block our ability to heal, release, and let go- which hinders our ability to accept and allow change of behavior.
So it is important to forgive what we’ve done and where we’ve been. Remembering that life isn’t an arena of punishment but a field of learning and growth.
Here is something that you can always think about when feeling stuck and unable to get passed forgiving yourself:
- You didn’t know what you know now when this happened, you cannot change the past but you can change your future. There was no way you could have done it differently because you just did not hold the clarity and wisdom you do now.
- Does it serve me or my children to be the victim in this story? And if it does, ask yourself how is that helping you. How is being a victim helping you or your children grow and be emotionally balanced?
- Last, understand that everything in life is here to help you grow. If your life is uneventful and nothing is ever pushing you to learn and be better then you are not expanding (when you expand- your children do so as well). Blocking our growth only stops us from receiving and having happiness, joy, and love.
4. Being Open
If you have come to the conclusion that something needs to change because you feel stuck, because you recognize that the way you are responding and behaving is not healthy or is not working for you, then you’re at the first step.
Most of the time we fear change because we fear the unknown. And as mentioned before, you don’t have to know how the whole picture is going to be put together, but you can surely begin with smaller pieces and slowly allow it to come into place as a whole.
Practice being open to one thing that you wouldn’t usually do. This allows you to build trust and courage. Allowing you to know that not all change is bad.
We fear judgment, repercussions, and punishment when we don’t follow the patterned behaviors we’ve been instilled. So we can begin by opening our heart and our mind and practice receiving.
Some ways to practice being open can begin with doing something for yourself you haven’t before. Another thing can be doing one thing with your child that you’ve avoided doing previously. Or even practicing physical open postures that can subconsciously tell your brain that you are open to receive and change, and it doesn’t have to be a big thing, small steps can take you a long way.
Some of these postures can be:
- Sitting with your arms uncrossed in an open position when talking to your child in a scenario you would usually yell at him.
- Standing in a superhero position with hands-on-hips and feet apart (you will be surprised what two minutes of this position can do for you).
- Practice saying more yes than no.
Healing is hard on its own, mixing change to it is even harder. But there are tools to help us take the first steps and implement change without it being a traumatic event. Having knowledge of something and doing nothing with it is like doing nothing at all.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results- Albert Einstein
Releasing your resilience to change is a big learning tool you can pass down to your children through your own behavior. They can use this for the rest of their lives allowing them to understand, process, and release all of the things they will experience through all stages. Allowing them to hold responsibility for their growth is the best gift we can give them.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels