This week has been a tough one emotionally for me, with challenges showing up each day as I fought to maintain my balance.
Today, as my son faced his own emotional challenges I realised how much my intention to protect has hindered what I was able to model for my kids.
While this week was difficult, my kids never knew. I dealt with my emotions in private, cried in my bed, journaled, prayed, meditated and regained my balance – all without my kids seeing the journey.
I wanted to protect them from the heartache and grief of the week. Sharing how I felt about the accidents that threaten the quality of life for a young family member, only to have another accident claimed the life of a close family friend felt too heavy to share.
Then today, I realised that my son was stuck feeling sad and disappointed and didn’t know how to effectively regain his balance. While he knew that he was responsible for all of his emotions, and that “finding his happy” was critical to him finding a solution to his challenge, he didn’t know how to move from feeling stuck.
It was clear that protecting him from my own sadness has robbed him of the opportunity to see first hand how to find realignment when life seems unfair and out of his control.
To help him I had to let him in. I shared how challenging my week was. We cried together. Hugged each other. Then I shared why it was important to regain my balance, that I needed to still find creative solutions to help, that I still need to be the best mum, friend, daughter, sister and cousin I could be this week. Not perfect, but imperfectly my best and that required realignment.
Then I shared how I processed my emotions so he could find a path to do the same for himself. Kids are such fast learners and are so resilient. Within minutes he was able to fully express his hurt, cry, talk about his anger and disappointment and then like magic he started to do things to feel better.
He listened to his favourite music, played a fun fame and watched funny videos. In a matter of minutes, he was back to peak state and looking for creative ways to deal with his challenge.
Today was a reminder, all of life is important, the good, bad, ugly and the gut reaching moments. Our kids will experience them all, no matter how much we want to protect them. The best thing we can do is model for them how to face all of it and THRIVE. This is the way they learn how to go beyond just surviving life ups and downs.