Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'm Not Ready for This

Upon the suggestion of my yoga teacher and in response to thinking a lot about a friend lately, I picked up one of Louise Hay's books. It was an easy choice, there was only one at our local library. The reason I sought out this author was to explore the concept of self-love and spirituality.

When I started the book, I felt fairly confident that I am a strong, healthy person with lots of self-love. Now, I'm not so sure. The part that hit the hardest was when Hay explained that our children mirror our repressed selves. The night I read that section happened to be a hard night-time with some yelling and general frustration - sometimes the kids just don't want to go to bed and will not stay in bed. I remember telling my husband while we stood in the kitchen feeling battle weary that I hated when I yelled and couldn't stand that I had become that.

Hay would tell me to forgive myself. Then to forgive my kids and not criticize.

I'm improving, but have a long journey ahead of me. I try to remember that escalating conflict only feeds it instead of dissolving it.

What I'm currently stuck on, though, is the concept of criticism. Hay says not to be critical of others, not to be judgemental. But then I catch myself wondering about my jobs of mom and boss. Aren't I supposed to have a critical eye, to correct behavior, to get results. Isn't that my duty? Otherwise, would it be chaos and anarchy?

Maybe I can be critical in a coaching way. In a manner that comes from love, not insecurity or fear. But then, who am I to be so bold, to think I have the answers.

Maybe it all becomes clear in the next chapter . . .


Sierra said...

I think you are onto something with the coaching from love concept. Criticism isn't necessarily a bad thing if it is done as an evaluation for progress. It's a tough line to define and even harder to walk. Good luck to you in your efforts to be the best you in all your responsibilities.

In my opinion, tired and frustrated doesn't equal self-hate. It could just be that you need more tools to manage totally natural feelings and realistic circumstances.

Sierra said...

Umm... by the way, if you find the tools to manage those feelings and circumstances, let me know!

yertle said...

Wow, good job for you to be willing to look at things in a new way. It is hard to be willing to challenge your own thoughts. I am proud of you for being receptive and open.

You are really onto something when you talk about a coaching model. Supporting your kids to behave and to choose to do the right thing.

When I was teaching, it was hard at first focusing on criticism and the negative. I soon learned that most people do not respond well to criticism, and that it is better to set people up to succeed and then lavish praise and let them experience the pride of doing well. Then they keep trying to get that feeling back, instead of being afraid of the criticism. I have actually apologized to students a couple of times when I felt like I had snapped and used harsh words because I was frustrated. They were surprised that I had thought about it later and had come back to apologize. I felt better since I didn't want to be that person who says harsh things. I also didn't want to have the sentence out there for them to remember and potentially use in judgment of themselves someday.

It is hard to remember with my own kids sometimes -- especially when I am tired and spent. We all do the best we can, and make the changes necessary so we can be happier with who we are. I always get stuck in trying to be perfect, but what I am slowly realizing is that there is no need to beat myself up over the action I didn't like, it doesn't help. I have to just start again from where I am being the me that I want to be and to accept that I am not perfect and that is OK.

Sending love and hugs.