My 4.5-year-old daughter and I were playing rock and roll.
No, not the Elvis Presley kind. It’s a yoga movement. You roll up like a baby and rock back and forth.
I got a little too excited and accidentally hit my knee on the side of her nose.
She was in pain. In tears. And ran to her mum for comfort.
She calmed down in a couple of minutes, although her pain didn’t subside. But she allowed me into her personal space to comfort and cuddle.
I apologised. And she forgave me.
One. We expect kids to be resilient and they are. We expect them to hurt and not hold grudges. And they don’t. We expect them to bounce back and be happy again. And they do.
This is not because of our expectation. But because of who they are. They are very self-aware and responsible (read, response-able).
They take responsibility for their feelings and emotions. Even though they don’t know it.
Two. The cause of their irritation or pain is internal. Not external. The trigger may have been external. But the continuing feeling is internal.
They recognise this. And share this.
When they hurt, they say “I am hurting”. They don’t mix cause and effect.
As they grow older, they “learn” that they can shift the responsibility. They don’t need to be responsible for their own feelings. Someone else can be.
We teach them through our own behaviour. Our language. Our actions.
They learn that the cause of their own irritation “can be” someone else. Not themselves. And they carry this into adulthood.
We are responsible for our emotions, feelings, actions, thoughts, behaviours. Not others.
We may have external triggers, but the response is our own.
We are responsible for how we feel. No one else.
We all suffer from emotional hurt or pain. And we always find someone to blame for it. It makes it easy for us to shrug it off. Not our problem. “I feel like this because of him or her”.
Take a moment now to become responsible. Take accountability for this pain. You have the power to change how you feel. You don’t have to suffer from an emotional injury that was caused years ago.
Let it go. And free yourself.