Thursday, October 9, 2014

What my infant taught me about relationships

Children are beautiful and amazing beings, and what I like most about them is that you can feel the miracle of life surrounding them with each of their new discoveries. As adults, we fancy ourselves as being wise with our experiences of life, and our knowledge of the world around us, but how often do we abandon our critical, conditioned mind to reside in our hearts? Babies and children are masters of this art that adults spend countless yoga classes and hours on end meditating to achieve. 

Over the past ten months bonding with and observing my babies interactions, I've discovered how to have more fulfilling relationships in general with my son as my ultimate teacher. 

Each day is a new day, and to find joy and happiness on the regular, we should treat every day as such. 
While trying to sleep train my son, I heard the worst screaming and saw the saddest and most desperate acts to gain my love and comfort. Unlike many parents who choose the cry it out method and shut the door while their child cries themselves to sleep, I chose to stay beside the crib and comfort my boy while he went to sleep on his own. This was truly the most gut wrenching experience of my life, which incidentally I abandoned trying after a few nights of mutual torture. I was sure my son would wake in the morning as a mistrusting and disappointed boy. To my great surprise and relief, the morning brought smiles and snuggles typical to prior mornings spent together. I was absolutely convinced that my son had the biggest and most open heart of gold, even after the immense upset just hours before. My son loves me, and I am his whole world.... Unconditionally. 

When this situation is applied to relationships with; husbands, girlfriends, bosses etc. I've learned that as adults, we can show the same level of unconditional love after we've been scared, rejected and disappointed. Letting a situation and the accompanying emotions move through us is the key. We do not need to stifle or gloss over the reality of our very real feelings, rather we need to feel the feelings fully, express them and then let go of the pain to make way for a new day. Many of our small conflicts can be resolved within our hearts without drawing out the issue. I'm reminded of a common question used in conflict resolution circumstances; would you rather be right or happy? This act of letting go  shows others that we care for them and our relationship more than we care about being "right" or proving our point. In forgiving and moving forward we allow space for others to be human when we are able to abandon yesterday's petty disputes. We are saying; yes, I was hurt/ humiliated/ displeased, and I still honor and love you. In moving forward, we free ourselves as well. We are free from the weight and energy of holding on to yesterday's hurt and anger. We are free from needing resolution that involves a third party. We are in charge of our day, and we are free to choose freedom and love when we deliberately abandon yesterday's pain. 

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