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This Part 3 is really for you, the parent. The parent who has agonized for years, in one form or another, over your son’s or daughters struggles. The message can be boiled down to this. Change what you can. That must come first.
Part 1 – The kid is stuck.
Part 2 – It’s a family affair. But your kid won’t cooperate.
Whose problem is it?
If you are the one hurting or even just worried, I think it’s yours!
I most often hear from the parents first. Once we cut through it all, it may look something like this. My son has never launched. He is back at home, again, with no sense of direction. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t like the way this story is going to turn out. Dad’s mad, mom’s hurt, and you’re both worried sick. Someone said you can only be as happy as your least happy child. What is mom and dad’s level of pain? Maybe a 5 or a 6 when you are not thinking about it. It’s a 9 or a 10 when you are. In one way or another, it is your biggest heartache. The most incomplete hole in your life.
It’s the kid’s problem, right? It’s not me. It’s the kid. It’s not our fault. We have given him everything we could. We have tried everything we can think of to get him going. It’s the kid who needs to figure this out and get his life track. We aren’t the ones that need help.
If you don’t know how to help the kid turn it around, you’d better start taking care of yourself!
How do I say this delicately? Let me turn it on myself. If I have upset, I have a problem. If I have misery, I have a problem. If I am worried, scared, ashamed, or any of the rest, I have a problem. I can promise you I would be very aware something was hanging out with me that I did not want. Every now and then some negative emotion, some upset, tries to show up my life. I know I’ve got a “school’s in session moment” going on. I can’t wait to figure out what is behind that upset and get rid of it. I have no place for any of that.
The thing is, if I am going to be torn up about something outside of me, I’m in a real jam. I can’t control what’s outside of me. My territory is inside. My own thoughts and feelings. That I can control. That I can clear and heal.
Back to you. If you are worried sick about the kid, isn’t that your problem? I know this sounds cold and detached. It’s supposed to. That thing outside of you is outside of you. It doesn’t matter if your kid is 30 and playing video games all day, if the stock market crashed, or your business is stalled out. Before you can fix anything external, at least in any sustained way, you have to first heal and clear yourself.
This is not about doing anything wrong or being a bad parent. It could be about you judging yourself as a bad parent. It could be about you judging a whole lot of things. That is what I am talking about.
Start where you can
Parents, let’s assume the kid won’t engage in anything to create change. Sometimes there is little conversation going on. Very often parents tell me they have tried everything they can think of. Nothing is working. The years tick by.
The first and the best thing you can do, especially if you aren’t getting anywhere with the kid anyway, is clear and heal yourself. Change the way you see the kid, how you hold the kid and his situation inside of yourself, and the feelings you reap from that. This is not mumbo jumbo. Parents and others do it all the time. We change our thoughts and that changes how we feel. Those shifts, in turn, change our outside worlds.
I will pick this up again in blog #4 of this series. I plan to take you through two scenarios. One where the parents are filled with pain, judgment, and all sorts of negative beliefs and emotions. All understandable, just not serving. In the second scenario, there will be none of that – within the parents, I mean. The kid's facts are identical in each case.
Here is the punchline. By cleaning up your own internal act, the only thing you can do in the first place, you feel better. You are also in an infinitely better place from where to help your son or daughter.
1. If we want to use the “P word”, how your son’s life turns out is his problem.
2. How you feel about it is your problem.
3. Start where you can. You.
4. You can’t control outside conditions. Like the weather, your daughter’s life, or anything else.
5. You have the opportunity to clear out the angst and everything causing it. It is inside of you.
6. You will be a much more powerful force for your child, coming from peace and love rather than love clouded with upset.
7. Your work on you helps you and your child. It’s a game changer.
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