Last week was filled with emotional release in one form or another which spilled into this week: How do we process it all, honor everyone’s feelings, move through it and, eventually, release its hold inside it. Mina and I dealt with emotions resulting from this weekend and our interactions with others from opposite sides of the spectrum. Mine were a result from a venomous email I received while Mina struggled with feeling heard.
The common thread was knowing and understanding our Heart’s truth, protecting it, and standing up for it.
Thursday, I was on the receiving end of a very venomous email that was sent to hurt me. The words were strong. The anger and empowerment permeated the whole email. Each word was sent almost like a little knife to cut away at the pieces of core character, at the places I hold dear. Clear with the intention to hurt, it was not just sent to me, but CC’d to others as well to possibly influence their opinion of me. Ironically, it had the opposite effect: The other recipients demonstrated more care and concern for me as a result with multiple texts and phone calls to see how I was handling the negative energy bomb. It is in these moments when you become aware of who you are and what your truth is. Really, my only response to the email to myself was :”WOW!” Other than that, it didn’t affect me because I am very strong in who I am now and it takes a lot to set me off balance. It was surprising to me that I was able to read it for what it was and not allow the words and energy to take up residence in my soul. I felt pretty proud of myself for how far I have come to reclaiming my center. I chose to say Thank you to the Universe for providing me the opportunity to see how strong I have become. Now, on the other side, I need to release the letter, but How? Do I print it, say a little prayer, and burn it? Do I send love and acceptance back to the person because the letter was written from a painful place? There is no reasoning with another person’s perception and no way to change their opinions unless they are open to it. It makes me sad, but all I can do is light a candle, hold that person in my heart, and release their opinions of me into candle. As the candle burns, it will purify the negative and send love back to the sender. That was my challenge last week.
Mina is just learning to listen to her heart. We talk all the time about how to clearly articulate our feelings and this weekend was no different. However, it is easier to speak your Heart’s Truth to some people more than others. This was her challenge. She knows I am learning to be a coach to help people and she is open to being coached as well. There are times she will tell me: Mama, I am good on this problem-I don’t need any coaching, thank you. Monday was different. She needed help. Her feelings were hurt, but she stayed silent in order not to hurt another’s feelings. I asked her if I could set down a coaching challenge for her: She could listen to it, accept it, or say no to it. My brave girl accepted the challenge before even hearing what it was-She was ready to work!
Here’s how it went:
Me: “Mina, How did you feel after your conversation?
Mina: “Mama, I understood what was said, but I was still sad and disappointed.”
Me: “Did you say something about how you felt?”
Mina: “No, I was scared to say anything because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”
Me: “How did you feel?”
Mina: “My heart felt squigy.”
Me: “May I issue you a challenge?” She nods. “If something makes your heart hurt, can you speak your Heart truth and say it out loud? If we can’t tell another person our Truth, how can they know how to love us or what we need? It’s scarey to speak up when our heart hurts, but it also makes us feel squigy, uncomfortable, wiggly, and heavy inside when we don’t. When we feel those uncomfortable feelings, we are not speaking our Heart truth. Can I challenge you to speak your Heart Truth when your heart hurts? To everyone or anyone who makes your heart hurt.. Each time, your heart will get stronger and stronger and it will be easier to tell inside what is your truth and what is not. My challenge will be to help all my girls, You, Allegra, and Zola, find the strength to speak your heart’s truth no matter how scarey it may be. I will listen to you and help you with the words to express yourself. Can we do this challenge together?”
Mina smiles and I can see that there has been a weight lifted off her shoulders: “Mama, I feel stronger already!! You’re the best Mama in the whole world. Thank you for listening to me and helping me with my words. I am grateful that I have a mama who understands my Heart without me having to say anything!”
I was proud that she stepped up to the Challenge. I don’t know how many adults would be so willing. It is hard to to know, really know, how your heart speaks, let alone listen to it. Too often, we disregard that voice because it doesn’t fall in line with other’s thinking or ideas. Slowly, that voice gets quieter and quieter and we forget to listen. We forget who we are as we defer our own needs to the needs of the majority. I feel, that as parents, we (myself included at times) try to push our own agenda because it is easier…for us. But, in the end, what are we teaching or not teaching our children. We are teaching them that their voice doesn’t matter and won’t be heard. All they need is to feel heard and that their voice is important. If we can listen, honor their feelings, and provide tools for them to use, then we are helping them be more emphatic, caring human beings. Little by little, maybe, that extra empathy can heal the world a little at a time.
Are you ready for that challenge? I dare you to try… no, I Double Dog dare you!