My youngest son hurt his knee at school the other day – nothing major. Just needed a large Band-Aid and some tender, loving care. When I picked him up he told me about it, showed me the Band-Aid and continued on in his evening including playing!
Then suddenly at bedtime he started sobbing and saying, “it hurts, it hurts”. He was really crying and seemed like he was in such pain. I asked if he wanted ice or a new Band-Aid – sometimes the enticement of a new character Band-Aid (spider man etc.) does the trick. But not this time, he continued crying and sobbing.
I got him into his bed, lay down with him but then I started getting a bit irritated as I knew nothing was wrong with him (seeing that he played and did his usual things all night with no issues!). I just wanted to say to him “Shhh, its all fine, nothings wrong”.
Suddenly I had two insights. First, I caught myself saying “Shhh” and stopped because all of a sudden I heard my mothers voice when I was little. At a time when I was hurting she said the exact same words to me – “shhhh, nothings wrong, everything’s fine”.
In this moment, I realized I felt unheard as a little girl.
While lying in bed with my son, I couldn’t help but start sobbing. I realized how much pain I felt from her words. However, rather than feeling anger or blame towards her – it struck me that she was only doing what she knew and what she felt was best for me. She was doing it out of love. I realized that maybe she was asking me to be quiet, because she couldn’t bare the pain of knowing I was in pain. Maybe my pain also triggered her pain – yet she was unaware. So what better way to stop her own pain, but by asking me to be quiet?
I have been working on anger issues for a little while and have known forgiveness is part of letting go of the anger. This experience with my son and the above insights about my own childhood allowed me to experience forgiveness in another way. By feeling what it was like to be in another person’s shoes (my mothers), I was able to empathize in a different way. It is fascinating to me how things in our current life trigger “old stuff” and we don’t even know it unless we are aware. So much of who we are is subconscious yet running our current lives.
The second insight I had as I got irritated with my sons crying was the realization that he was not in any major form of physical pain.
It was then obvious to me what my son needed. I knew that he wasn’t in physical pain. I knew he just needed a hug, some warmth and love. I lay down beside him and again asked, “Do you want some ice, a Band-Aid or a hug”. And he quietly mumbled “a hug”. So that’s I gave him that, rubbing his head gently in the way I know he likes. He immediately stopped crying. And slowly drifted into his sweet dreams.
I feel grateful to have had these insights through awareness. How else can we heal ourselves unless we are more aware?
I feel this blog is in honor of my mom and the love she gives in her own unique ways. Thanks mom.
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