Sometimes tears don’t surprise me. Perhaps I’ve been feeling sad for a while, or I can feel a need to cry behind my eyes. At other times they do catch me by surprise. Often when I’m doing listening time I’ll be talking and then suddenly I’ll start crying about something I didn’t even know I was sad about. Something I wouldn’t even have thought would register as a hurt.
This happened yesterday when I was talking to my listening partner about getting in contact with two possible schools for my daughter to attend in August. When we visited one school they didn’t make much effort at connecting with me, or making me or my daughter feel welcome. Another school were much more welcoming, and made small gestures that showed natural human kindness. I felt much safer about sending my daughter there, because they were warm, and friendly.
As I told my listening partner how grateful I was about the small ways that school had made us feel welcome I started crying. Later I realised how terrifying the possibility had been to send my daughter somewhere where I wasn’t sure her emotional needs were taken care of. I was so grateful to have found another possibility that I cried with relief.
There are literally hundreds and thousands of little hurts like this that we carry inside our minds. They raise our stress levels, and effect our health, both emotionally and physically. They get in the way of our thinking, and our ability to be calm, loving parents. We may not be even consciously aware of these hurts.
When we begin listening time, we may just start talking about small minor everyday niggles, but as we follow our train of thought with a partner we trust, we will naturally be led to our tears.
Often when we have a present hurt there’s a thread of hurts that can be traced all the way back to early childhood. For instance, as I work through feelings about my daughter starting school I know it’s not just her separation anxiety that I have to contend with. It’s also my own past experiences with being bullied at school that are making me feel nervous and anxious about our choices.
My daughter’s limbic system (the emotional part of the brain) will be picking up on my anxious feelings, and her transition to school won’t go smoothly unless I can heal my own past.
Despite our nervous feelings, I think we are both looking forward to this new adventure. We can walk this healing path together.
For more info check out How Telling Your Life Story Transforms Your Parenting. And if you’d like to try listening partnerships with me, I have an online Parenting by Connection starter class beginning next weds May, 18, 8:00pm central european time, (7pm UK time, 11am pacific time)