I was asked to offer Stop Yelling for a company training. Not all their staff are parents so we wanted to make it more general than parenting. As I was teaching it last night I realized how parenting without losing our shit is the same as having a tough conversation with our partner without freaking out.
Parenting and marriage require us to put relationship over self. We must trust that intimacy and connection are more important than control and safety. Getting past our fears and ego allows us to be fully available to love and be loved.
Think about how hard it is to put aside our own need for control and safety. Kind of seems stupid, right? I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to have to worry about the people I love. I hate how vulnerable loving people makes me feel. In order to be comfortable, I can put my walls up, and take some space so that I feel safer. I can make a ton of rules, believing I are acting reasonably, that I am doing what’s right for my kids, my relationships. If I wrap my loved ones in bubble wrap- never let them out of my sight, never let them fail, never let them feel bad the relationship cannot grow.
I don’t really know if I yell less than most… I think so. I think the work I’ve done on my shit is helping. Maybe I just yell differently, with more integrity. Maybe I yell and then fix it faster, take responsibility better. Mostly I try to spend more of my day connected and secure and less of it in conflict. I haven’t quite achieved relationship nirvana where the people I love never see me act like a crazy person.
Being wise (OLD) means I know I am going to get hurt. That people I love have lots of mistakes ahead. I will be disappointed. I don’t get to have people be or do what I think is best for them… that isn’t my job. My job is to hold space. To accept radically. To love deeply. To forgive endlessly.
I work hard at controlling my need to control others. When I want something for others, when I push them towards something I think is right for them, we I create resistance. The more I push, the more resistance I create. Food issues or homework or chores are the obvious places that create power struggles with our kids. With our partners we can create resistance to intimacy or conversation or even when things are getting really off, we create resistance to sex and to dating, we avoid spending time together knowing how much our partner really wants and needs us. My job is to live in the moment and learn to enjoy the bumpy, vulnerable, dangerous ride of love.