I was so tired of nagging, arguing, trying to force my opinion and control on my children. In fact I was exhausted. Noticing this was the wake up call for me. It had been going on for a long time and I really didn’t like it, I didn’t like it at all.
It was scary to realize that what I had been doing wasn’t actually contributing positively to the life I had envisioned having with my family. I wanted to be in a place where I was not constantly fighting for control over my kids and their actions.
This was the AHA moment for me, my call to action. I realized that the only way I could get out of my rut was to make a change. That brought about even more fear. Change what?
Could I really change my kids? Probably not!
Could I influence my kids? Yes. But how?
If it was through me, that meant I had to be the one to change. This reminded me of something I had learned on a course about change:
The foundation for all meaningful change is self-change.
The only thing I could control here was myself because I couldn’t control my children and all my efforts to do so in the past told me that it does not work. In fact it only serves to damage the relationship. I didn’t want to damage the relationship that I had with my kids, not now or ever.
What was my choice, what was the bottom line here?
To give up control of what I couldn’t control.
Wow, this was going to be huge. Trust me, know I was really scared. This was a tall order. How was I going to do it?
I thought about which of my strengths I could draw from to do this: I am compassionate, caring, logical, practical, intuitive, grounded, encouraging, enthusiastic and fun.
I knew that this was a step in the right direction but that there was another piece…
I was going to need a lot of help. I realized that this help had to come from me, from my mind, my thoughts, my Inner Guide.
I knew then that if I could switch my mindset, I could change.
This process did not happen over night, in fact I spent many days, weeks in my head thinking, reflecting and being introspective in order to make this inner shift.
I was going to have to be kind to myself. This was hard because I like to get things right and not screw up. But this change couldn’t just happen instantly. The new me would take time to emerge, step by step, little by little. I also know that what you focus on grows so I had to choose to focus on my successes rather than my struggles. Time would tell.
Then I realized that all that was left to do was start. I woke up one morning and set my intention for the day:
“I am going to relinquish control of what I can’t control”
I remember that first morning well, it was pouring with rain and freezing cold. As my seven year old was getting ready to go for school I started to say “You will need to put…”
But I stopped myself from saying it and instead said:
“It is cold and wet out there, you might want to take a coat, your choice.”
He didn’t and I said no more. Guess what? He went to school with no coat and not much else on his little seven year old body. He came home from school cold and soaked but he was okay (with a natural consequence) and more importantly so was I. I had had a much better day because it hadn’t started with a fight over a coat!!
The day continued and it was so much better. I was more calm and I had more energy. I didn’t feel so drained. I felt better and I’m sure my kids did too because they hadn’t been nagged and fought with over little things. As the days marched on, sure I slipped up and occasionally reverted to my default style and trust me, when I did we had the biggest fights ever.
The lesson for me has been powerful:
Giving up control of what I can’t control has in fact given me more control. Control of myself and it feels so good.
Changing one’s self and sustaining the change is a work in progress. It requires dedication, participation, self-compassion and the courage for imperfection. If I can do it, anyone can.
Do you feel over-whelmed and stuck in a rut knowing that something needs to change? Need some help? Call me and remember, I offer a complimentary 30 minute session.