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Emotional Vocabulary

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Love Language.

What if we could turn our reality around so we could look at it from the world that lies behind our usual life so that it became the guidepost. What if we looked at our children and saw that there is a whole other reality happening for them that we can only access through our intuition, through connection and through quietening our inner noise to be able hear the faint whisper of their souls. It is a culture that is addicted to formulations, to words and analysis. But these are things that, when truly illuminating, spring from a source of perception that does not live in this realm of performance and fast paced imposition. They are not themselves the goal.

Have you been in the presence of a baby, their whole body and feeling and expression communicates their inner life. They are like a quiet pool in the middle of an unknown garden. What peace can be felt when we sit and listen to their being, their expressive breathing. More than this they are a part of you, their mother. That connected relationship is still intact, even though the physical evidence of it is not longer there, the umbilical cord is cut, but the thing that is unseen, it is still as strong as when they swam inside your womb. In this, we can give our complete trust. It will become the link of understanding as they grow and face the world in all of its parts.

Who is this child that has entered the world? You have known him from the beginning, since conception when that spark of life was felt and from there you knew, and in awesome patience you waited to meet this new person. This wonder can stay alive, as long as we don't believe that our children are "ours," and that their being and future are for us to shape and decide. In this wonder we see this new baby, and we watch as they grow to find out more and more about them. This informs our responses, we come to know the child's individual needs and we come to respect that they are on their own path, unknown, beautiful and full of possibility. We let their strengths flourish as they start to show them and this helps us know how we can support them. In this way they grow their confidence, as we support and trust them, they become unshakable in that in themselves. Through our care and kindness, they learn how it feels and they become aware of others feelings.

So here we exist in a realm of positivity and hope. And through this relationship we can help our children communicate and relate in the world. How do we do this practically? We listen to them when they are babies, always. If we practice listening and being close, we know their cues before they really need to speak up to have them heard. They feel us there, aware and responsive. As they grow, we let them make mistakes. They can help bake the muffins that might not turn out perfectly as they scooped too much flour. They can sweep the floor even though there will still be crumbs. We respect the fact that if they are going to be put in a dysregulating environment, they are going to become exhausted and unable to manage the expression of their despair. We respect that they are learning. And we always choose to point out the positive to them and in this way they learn forgiveness, they learn that they are worthy and innately good. And they begin to learn how to navigate through life.

When your teenager wants to just be alone, in their room, or is getting angry easily. See it for what it is, they are grappling with something. Remain steady, like a trustworthy beacon. Keep giving your message of love. They come back and they do see you for who you are in time. They have known the feeling of having someone believe in them.

The amazing part of this? If it sounds exhausting - it is absolutely the polar opposite. Let's all just take some deep breaths. Let go of that play date because your child's already been out a lot this week. Opt out of that family get together that is going to finish your energy and only end up in acting out from your still learning and growing child. Yes, run to the forest and let them go free, let them fall and get muddy and scraped and wet. Let them be soothed by all of the quiet and sounds of nature, just as you will be. Cuddle in bed reading a bedtime story together and sometimes they can "read" it too, if you're tired, even though it will be some kind of gorgeous made up adventure. Find places and people that you feel safe with and don't force yourself to engage in things that will drain you. If they've been out all day away from you, take them in with your attention, let them know how happy you are to see them. And always give more time, lots more time than is needed.

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