When we were finally able to sit down and talk, long after lunch, it was definitely not sickness keeping him home. Anxiety, school overwhelm, so many other things. But I couldn’t get to the point of talking to him until I had a chance to deal with my emotions.
Over the last year I have worked really hard to develop a sense of an open heart and what that really means. I am kind of an intense person with big emotions, and I feel them strongly, and at times in the past, I have let them control me, or just get out of control. As Arianna Huffington states in her book Thrive, being all heart can be chaotic. I have certainly seen my share of emotional chaos. But the opposite, being all mind, as we see in our lovely, but very rigid kids, isn’t very productive either.
So how did I get through and be able to brainstorm a solution, and talk to my son calmly but in a way where we could communicate? It’s something I’ve taught him too, or at least am trying to:
Emotions aren’t bad in themselves, and having them and expressing them in an appropriate way is a benefit. You have to accept that some things make you feel angry, or anxious. And then you can just let the emotion go. Let it pass through you, and not change you, but accept that it’s there. Then you can move on to finding a solution, or meeting a challenge, or in our case, being able to communicate about what was holding him back.
It’s a bit like the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I have found repeatedly that accepting my emotions, or my children’s emotions, leads to having an open mind, and then I can see more clearly. If I bottle up the emotion, I can’t make productive decisions. I urge anyone facing similar challenges, or any challenge, to try accepting the emotion instead of pushing it aside, and let it pass. See if you are more open to finding a solution.