It’s been two and half weeks since my husband passed away. My emotions have been up and down and all around several times a day. My wonderful children have had to tell me repeatedly, that whatever I’m feeling is okay. I can do no wrong. Everything I’m feeling is right.
For instance, my brothers drove from Texas, California and Utah to come to the funeral. We have a close knit family and have always loved to play games together. But during the days after the funeral I couldn’t bring myself to go visit and play games with them. I cloistered myself in my house, surrounded by my children and grandchildren and couldn’t interact with anyone else. I felt guilty but my children reminded me that anything I felt was okay and no one was judging me. My brothers understood and respected my need for seclusion.
As I pondered the gift of unconditional love my children and brothers gave me I thought of how powerful that gift was. To know that I was loved for myself—not judged, and that anything I felt would be taken with an understanding heart by others was such a freeing and peaceful feeling.
Do we give our children unconditional love? Do we accept their feelings, no matter how different they may be from ours and let them have those feelings? Instead of saying things like “you shouldn’t be mad at your friend,” or “you shouldn’t be so sensitive,” maybe we could say things like “wow, you’re really upset about that” or “that really hurt your feelings didn’t it?”
There is power in communication--power in reaching heart to heart with our children, spouse and friends. Letting our children talk about their feelings and explore them will help them own their feelings and learn how to control them. Actions need to be controlled-you don’t hit because you’re mad, but you can be mad. Then comes the teaching moments when you help your child explore why he is mad, and what he can do about it.
We are all humans and we all have feelings. Accepting our own feelings and others is a lifetime job.