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The other night I was walking through the store and got a text from my niece. She said, “You know what you should write about? Your anxiety when you were a kid. I don’t know if you still have it, but I think that would be cool to read.” My fingers typed, “That’s a great idea! I’m writing about that this week!” My brain said, “Shut up…You aren’t writing that! No one will read it. Who do you think you are writing about something like that?” Because, yep I still have it and that voice is super ugly some days.
But that’s what it is…a voice. A separate voice from who I really am. I just realized this within the last year. Forty-one years of listening to a voice that isn’t you, is exhausting; and just now, in the last 12 months, I have started hearing the real me, the one that lives and speaks through my heart. This voice is so much more courageous! She’s independent, smart (actually pretty genius), and freaking hilarious (if I do say so myself).
Everyone has this voice. Some of us just have a voice that’s crazier than others (mine is bat shit crazy). Don’t believe me? Just stop for a second and listen to yourself. It’s all those words in your head you don’t say out loud. No matter what you’re reading, listening to, or doing it’s ALWAYS talking back there. Yeah, that one.
That voice is there our entire life. When I was a kid mine made me scared of everything. I was afraid to play in the front yard because I thought a car would run up over the curb and hit me. As an adult, it has wreaked havoc in all areas of my life, especially relationships. It’s what makes us choose the wrong people, over the right people. It keeps us stuck on paths of stagnant familiarity, over adventure, because the risk of following our heart and not succeeding is too much to process. It keeps us in relationships that aren't good, over ones that feed our spirit. I mean, isn’t it better to fail with a person you don’t truly love (not a huge loss when it doesn't work), than to take a chance with the person that completes your soul (it would be devastating to lose them)? That voice is what keeps us from making these "mistakes".
Almost everything this voice tells us to do is out of fear. Yes, it’s a defense mechanism, meant to protect us. And yes, in some areas it helps, but most of the time it’s complete bullshit. It’s there from childhood, and gets stronger and stronger the more we use it. Forty-one years is a long time to let it control things.
Here’s the thing, our heart is always trying to correct that voice. When our heart and head are at odds, it creates anxiety. A whole life of it, until we learn to make the voice in our head stop talking, or at least learn when and how to ignore it.
As a daycare provider, I’ve seen this voice in my little people. Your little people, Mama. I also now recognize it in my own kids, from when they were little. Oh how I wish I could move what I learned in 2017 back 20 years.
Think about it for just a second. Does your child have anxiety? Is he or she afraid of “irrational” things, for no real reason? Constantly worrying about the little things? As a parent, that doesn’t understand this, it is no doubt frustrating, annoying and exhausting. Our first response is to FIX our child, to CHANGE them so they are "normal". Honestly, from someone that has lived this, that’s the worse thing that could have been done for me. All that tells me is “I am not normal.” “My feelings are not ok.” “I am not good enough.” Guess what? Every fear just got multiplied 10 times over.
I tried to be like everyone else. I played in the front yard. I dated (and married) people that I shouldn’t have, took jobs I didn't like. I was unhappy, unfulfilled and all that just makes a person angry, cynical and no fun to be around. Looking back, my heart always told me what I should be doing, I was just too scared to listen and too afraid of what others would think. And usually, what I ended up doing was the opposite of what I truly should be doing for myself, but I kept up with the status quo, and I had others approval. The problem? I was still at odds with myself, so it never worked. In fact, a lot of times it turned into a total shit show.
Holy crap, that’s a ton for someone to digest, huh? As mama’s, now what do we do? Where's the book on this? You don’t want your little person to turn out like that! You don’t want them to be scared and angry and feel like they have to hide who they truly are all the time, right? You don’t want your child to be emotionally exhausted from trying to be “normal” their whole life.
What if instead of trying to change and fix them, we completely accept them? Just as they are. Instead of brushing these "irrational" fears off as nonsense, what if we help them refocus on the positives? What about giving them an outlet to express these fears? How about instead of saying “That’s silly. That will never happen.”, we say, “Oh my gosh, that would be super scary! How can we make sure that doesn’t happen?” What if we taught our kiddos how to switch their thoughts, how to ignore that voice, how to live from their heart…and, what if we helped them do that when they are 6, or 10, or 15?
I know! That’s a lot of responsibility for a mama! That’s a lot of work, especially when you have your own voice telling you how you’re supposed to “parent” and “discipline” your child. Not to mention everyone that offers up their opinions…and judgements.
Let’s get rid of that one right off the bat. Other people's opinions and judgments mean squat! Trust your instincts Mama. You know your child. You know yourself and you are the perfect person to help your munchkin. Sure, you can ask for opinions and help, and if you don’t like what you hear, you can leave it right where it came from. Remember, the people giving you those opinions are doing so through their own “voice” and more often than not, they are fear based opinions. Let them go if they don’t resonate with your heart.
Here are a few heart-centered ways that you can help your kiddo(s) redirect their own thoughts and help them train their brain to take a backseat to their heart, long before adulthood…
Doesn’t that feel better and less overwhelming? Isn’t it awesome to know that you have the power, ideas and solutions to change your little persons life through positive, simple, everyday actions? Now, get your positive on! Look at things from a new and fresh perspective! Your little person is ready, and so are you. Go get’em Mama!
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I'm a mama of three crazy, hilarious, amazing kids and the owner of an in home daycare for over 11 years.