As kids when we feel like we’re always being watched, critiqued, or censored, we begin to disconnect from the guidance found within. We begin to fall asleep to our own experience, we begin to see our experience through their eyes… we want to do it right, get the approval, get the praise, and maybe even the love.
We’re overly aware of how our actions, feelings, and thoughts will be perceived and judged by those we love. In fact, we become so attuned with others, and so disconnected from ourselves, that as we grow up and go through life, we do the same with every other person we have a relationship with, we so easily tune in to them, to their perceptions, judgments, feelings, thoughts, and actions… And that when asked what it is we want to do, how it is we feel, or think, we don’t know. In fact, that question may even scare us. It may even offend us. Because by digging deep inside ourselves to answer it, it may mean that we have to change some things about our lives, it may mean we’d have to change a lot of things. It may mean we’d have to confront some things that we’re scared to confront. To be happy, like, really happy.
And that scares us a lot.
But the alternative is to stay asleep, stay a passenger in life, be a slave to the opinions of everybody else, and perhaps feel a bit resentful deep down inside, perhaps we’ve morphed into a rebel without a cause, or we’ve conformed so much to meet everyone else’s standards that we feel sort of lost and maybe even a bit cheated in life.
Then we have kids. And so we overly focus on them, cause that’s what we’ve always done, focused on everybody else except ourselves, making sure they’re fitting all the standards of today’s perfect child. And then the same thing that happened to us, begins to happen to them. They lose the connection with their own powerful voice, with their own inner-compass to guide them.
And so what do we do to stop this from happening? Begin the process of going inward. Inner-voice retrieval. Sifting through all of the many internalized voices of parents, society, culture, schooling, and finding our own. Our very own voice. Telling the stories, the stories of our experiences, honestly, from our hearts, through our eyes. A process of self-discovery, what psychology defines as differentiation, or individuation. And writing; asking ourselves lots of questions, and answering them, honestly. What brings us joy? And if we’ve forgotten, go way back in time, to when we were youngsters, what brought us joy then? What did we love then, what do we love now? What are we good at? What do we love in this world?
What has been forgotten, and what must be remembered?
And give our kiddos the space to think, feel, and act. And keep on practicing being ourselves, creatively expressing, doing what we love, owning our feelings, being confident in who we are, not living to please everyone under the sun, and our kids will learn that it is ok. That it is ok and safe for them to be themselves. And that we will love them anyway. We love them for the very fact that they are who they are. And we love ourselves, like our very lives depend on it. Oh, and let them play, let the children play.