[This is my husband feeling a reverence for these beautiful animals that caused him to be quiet, very still, and just watch this Silverback. We had the sacred experience of watching a family of gorillas for an hour up on a volcano in Rwanda, Africa. Jeff was about six feet from this handsome guy.]
When we feel a certain way it causes to act a certain way. My husband is feeling reverence for these magnificent creatures so he is able to act calmly and respectfully. If he were scared, he would probably be hiding and high tailing it back down the mountain.
Have you ever notices that when you're feeling loved, respected, appreciated by your adult children you behave differently around them than when you're neglected by them? It's all very explainable. A circumstance, the situation, the experience we are having, triggers our brain to have thoughts about what we are making that circumstance mean in our life. Those thoughts cause us to feel a vibration in our bodies. This vibration is called a feeling. Our feelings cause us to act, react, or do nothing. Or it could be described as our feelings cause us to behave in a certain way. The way we act is how we "show up" to our adult children.
When we are feeling frustrated because one of our children said " you shouldn't be so opinionated", we are feeling frustrated because of what we are making this statement mean....maybe "you voice your opinions; why aren't I allowed to voice mine?" It's this thought that is making you feel frustrated. Frustration usually causes us to act unkindly, perhaps with a responding with a caustic remark, or by distancing ourselves by making no comment, or by reacting by hanging up on them.
These actions do nothing to enrich the relationship and you don't show up as the loving mother you want to be to your children. We may even try to hide how we are actually feeling, but humans are really good at reading other people's minds. Our adult children will always know when are feeling negatively. And who wants to be around an upset mother.
I can remember a time when after talking to my grown up kids on the phone, that I noticed that they never asked any questions about me and my life. I felt unimportant. I had just gone through training and some stressful examination to become a WW Leader. I was given two meetings to lead in my hometown. I had told my kids the weekend that I was going to San Francisco to attend the training and that I was nervous that I wouldn't pass all the qualifying requirements. Upon my return, I talked with each of my kids and only one of them asked me about the results of my weekend.
The story I made up was they weren't interested in anything about my life; they didn't care enough about my life to celebrate this accomplishment with me; everything going on in my life was meaningless.
My action was to distant myself from them and not share anything about what was going on in my life.....the only person that was suffering because of this action was me. I was suffering because 1) I had the thought that they were not interested in my life; 2) my suffering caused me to behave more like a child than an adult; and 3) my hurting caused to me to distant myself from my kids when what I really wanted to do was to feel closer to them. My result was my kids weren't interested in my life.
Kris Plachy, a mentor coach of mine, said "If you don't put the asparagus on your kid's plate, how can you expect him to eat them." If we don't offer information about what's going on in our lives to our children, how can we expect them to have any kind of an opinion about our lives. They can't connect with someone that acts like a robot.
When we choose to think thoughts that cause us to feel unappreciated and unloved, we will feel unappreciated and unloved every time. We have the power to choose to think about any circumstance anyway we want. That means we have the power to control how we feel by managing our thoughts. We have the power to focus on thinking compassionate thoughts, understanding thoughts, curious thoughts that will cause us to feel love. When we feel love unconditionally towards our sometimes underserving adult children, our feelings will cause us to show love, be love and do love to them.
Always choose love....because LOVE ALWAYS WINS.
If this resonates with you and you are struggling in your relationship with your adult children, I can help you connect with your adult children by teaching you a unique technique called the Model. The Model transformed my life to help me become closer to my adult children than I ever thought possible. I can help you apply the Model to your life making it possible for you to have an amazing relationship with your adult children. To learn more about how I can help you, email me to sign up for a free 50 minute consult.