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Tame Your Monster
The other day, my 13 year old son came into my office to talk with me. I could tell something was up. He and his friends were playing a game together on a private online server that he'd set up. He told me that his friends were fighting with each other and they weren't respecting each other or the game rules that my son had created. After talking a bit, it was clear that my son felt disrespected by his friends and he was hurt.
So, I did what I've done since he was little and he came to me with some sort of boo boo. I looked him in the eye and I apologized that he was feeling hurt. I think with children, acknowledging the pain and letting our kids know how sorry we are that they are hurting is a very natural thing to do.
It's a simple act of love and it's filled with acceptance for their pain, no matter what caused it.
I'm not sure we are quite as successful at modeling this type of love and acceptance for ourselves. I've recently learned a deceptively simple tool that we can use to heal those who are hurt and we can even use it to heal ourselves. As I was practicing and teaching it, I realized that another way to use this tool is when our inner critic, or what I lovingly call our Thought Monster gets busy criticizing, cajoling and haranguing us. Do you recognize when your Thought Monster is berating you? Can you hear the pain and fear that it inflicts on you? One thing my Thought Monster tells me is how crazy I am to think I can help others with the idea of taming their Thought Monster!
What a simple act of love and acceptance it would be to use this process with ourselves and teach our kids to do the same. Here's how it works:
The process requires one person who is hurt and another person to heal. It's a partnership that is created with the willingness of the hurt individual to accept compassionate healing from the other.
The person who is hurt, simply states the name of the person who hurt them, how they feel hurt and what it was the other person did. No additional story is required or helpful.
"My friend hurt my feelings when he disrespected the rules of the server."
The healer confirms that they understand how they feel hurt and what the other person did.
The hurt person then takes a deep breath and lets the healer know when they are ready.
The healer apologizes, matching the tone and emotion of the person who is hurt:
"I'm so sorry your friend hurt your feelings by disrespecting the rules of the server."
The hurt person breathes in the apology and the healer asks how the energy of the hurt has changed. If it was a 10 when they started, what is it now?
The healer then asks: "Is there anything else about that?" If there's more, the person who is hurt can state it simply and the healer can apologize and include any intuitive ideas that come to them. It doesn't need to be perfect, just heartfelt.
The power in this tool is the unconditional acceptance from the healer that the pain the injured person feels is valid. Acknowledging the other person's pain and apologizing for it (even when they had nothing to do with inflicting it) is a generous act. The energy from the pain dissolves, often completely.
So how do we do this for ourselves? The next time your Thought Monster tells you that you can't do something, or that you dressed too wacky or that you'll never succeed in business, match the tone and emotion that you hear and apologize. Don't worry, you don't have to say it out loud! But do share this concept with your kids.
"I'm sorry that you feel worried that I will never succeed in my business."
Then give your Monster a nice metaphorical pat on the head and move on with your day.
|Katie McClain coaches moms who aren't afraid of self-love and who want to be the very best for themselves and their family. She helps pre-teen & teen boys tame their Thought Monsters and step into their power and awesomeness. Katie believes that if we can all just love ourselves a little more each day, magic will happen in our wonderful world. You can find out more about Katie here. |