"Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me".
Do you believe this? Is this what your brain is telling you is true or are you arguing with it. Haven't your adult children said lots of things that hurt? "You just don't understand!" "Quit telling me how to raise my kids." "We aren't coming to your house for Thanksgiving". "You always favored the other kids when I was growing up." "I've quit going to church". "Please don't call me anymore".
Proof. Right? Words can hurt me, you think. But the truth is THEY CANNOT!!!!
Feeling "hurt" can be defined as feeling disappointed, unworthy, unappreciated, disrespected, unimportant, or maybe even shame. A feeling is just a vibration in your body. It either makes you feel good or bad. Words by someone else do not have the power to jump inside your body and make you feel a certain way. Only you can make you suffer.
The truth, then, is your children didn't hurt you; you hurt yourself. You suffer when you attach meaning to what your children say or do. Your thoughts about what they said is what is causing you to feel hurt. ....."But words can never hurt me" is just part of a nursery rhyme but truer words have probably never been spoken.
Your thoughts are made up sentences in your brain. You've programed your brain to believe that it's what someone else says that hurts you. Everybody does it. We practiced believing that from when we were children. It was always someone else's fault as to why we were in pain. But as a child that was the only way we knew how to cope with things. Our brains were not developed enough to be responsible for our feelings. Not that we are adults, we are expected to be responsible for our feelings. Not only did no one ever tell us that, but also no one ever taught us how to create our own feelings.
The good news is that there is a way to choose our feelings. All we have to do is choose our thoughts; our thoughts about what our children say to us. Our thoughts about what they don't say to us. Our thoughts about the tone of their voice or their body language when they say something to us.
If your child says "You just don't understand", you can have the thought, "that was rude to say" or "I was just trying to help", or "Can't you just talk like an adult to me?" These thoughts are going to cause you to feel something other than love; some hurtful feeling. But if you had the thought "I'm curious as to what's really going on in his life", or even said "tell me more about why you feel that I don't understand". What if you had the thought, "I just love him." These thoughts are going to cause you to feel love and peace.
We never know what someone else is experiencing, thinking, or feeling. But our brain wants to default to the story that something has gone wrong when challenging situations come upon us. The only thing that has gone wrong is the story in your head. It's your story that's making you feel unimportant, disrespected, unappreciated, etc, NOT your children's behavior.
The solution to this problem is "but words can never hurt me", only my words (thoughts) can hurt me. And that recognition is the beginning of your new story.
To always feel love, you have to be responsible enough to always choose compassionate thoughts. And it's okay if you're not perfect at doing this because you are human.
The longer I live the better I get at reacting like a responsible adult and choosing love.
When in doubt, err on the side of thinking loving and compassionate thoughts because love always wins.
I can help you. I can help you learn how to feel love and connection with your adult children not matter what they say or do. I can teach you how to use an amazing tool called the Model that will show you how to maximize feeling the most amazing feeling that only feeling love offers. I'm here to help you. Just email me for a free, 50 minute consult. I'm checking my inbox to see if I've heard from you. I can't wait. Click here.