What to do when someone offers advice or makes a remark that annoys the heck out of you, or triggers feelings of anger, or insecurity? Get to the heart of the issue... it's more about what was said than about the person who said it, and even more about what feelings are stirred up within ourselves in response to what was said. So, the challenge? Before immediately reacting to what was said with a sarcastic remark, angry silence, or outright combative stance, sit with what was said, internally sit with the feelings associated with what was just said. For example, I shared with a certain someone in my life about Ava's latest trend of going into her bedroom and slamming the door when she's angry. The response I received to my share went something like this, “she's only 3 years old, did you do that when you were 3 years old? She needs to learn what is acceptable behavior. I hope you don't mind me offering my advice.” My internal response to this was not a good one. So, instead of responding immediately to the remark in anger or annoyance (it was via email), I sat with the feelings that it stirred up inside of me, as much as I didn't want to. As uncomfortable as it was to sit with the feelings, feelings that I felt in the pit of my stomach, I realized a few things. Those remarks stirred up fears within me of not being a good enough parent, that I should be doing something other than what I'm actually doing. And that there is something “wrong” with my daughter. So, where to go from there? First, reassure myself that I am a perfect parent for my child, and that on some level we both chose each other. Second, realize that my daughter is imperfectly perfect (as we all are), and that with time, compassion, and creativity, we will figure out how to how to channel anger and frustration in healthy ways. And third, see what is positive about the situation; she is clearly embracing a newfound sense of independence in going into her room and slamming her door and learning how to take time-outs for herself (yes, we can work on the slamming part, but that's okay), and that she feels secure enough in my love for her that she is able to express big, “negative” emotions such as her anger. And finally, offer myself some grace, this is new for both of us and we both need time to figure it out, and that is my right as a parent. And in getting to the heart of this situation, which actually had nothing to do with the other person other than she helped illuminate some areas of myself that needed healing, I was able to release the feelings of annoyance and insecurity that were revealed. And so how did I respond to her advice? In short, that Ava and I would work through it together like we always did, and that if I needed advice, I would definitely ask, that she needn't worry, and that I loved her. And she responded oh so kindly. Relationship crisis averted, a healthy and loving boundary set, and a chance to offer myself some extra love and reassurance, something that we all need from time to time.