There are times in this parenting thing when what comes out of my mouth takes me by surprise. Sometimes I’m all blocked up by me and mine and what flys out is fear-based and demanding. There are other times when I’m open and connected and what glides out is not only a lesson for them but a lesson for me. The other day, I was open to the teachable moment and what came out was, “humans can’t transform it, they can just transmit it. God alone can do the transforming”.
When I picked my youngest up from school, he realized he didn’t get something he wanted in his class and wanted to go back inside. I reflected back what he wanted to do and told him he could get what he wanted tomorrow without really acknowledging his feelings or giving him space to express his emotion. When we arrived at his brother’s school he wanted to walk and get brother and I said no and drove through carpool line. Well, he lost it, kicking, screaming, crying, throwing a huge fit. It took a while for him to calm down but once he did we uncovered a very familiar story.
There are times when I want something and I don’t get it. I often feel upset about this. Then there are times when I want something and I think the person I’m with prevents me from getting it and my emotional response is anger. Now at this point, if I do not express or process my emotion it begins to fester. Then, if something again happens where I don’t get what I want and I again choose to blame the person I’m with I can no longer keep the lid on my anger and I erupt, usually in a destructive way. This was my son’s experience.
Emotion is energy in motion. If emotion is not expressed it gets trapped in our bodies where it unconsciously controls our reactions or it erupts at another time when the internal pressure gets too high. When we do not own our emotion and blame another for our emotional state, we feel resentful and out of control. This is where the divine transformation process comes in.
“Humans can just transmit it, God alone can transform it”. So here is the theory, I get mad and think about what happened to me and “my anger” and in the meantime, the anger grows and the story strengthens the feeling inside me. I alone cannot transform this emotion, I can only transmit this emotion. If I offer up my emotion in prayer, God can transform the emotion in me. God can reveal to me my part and soften my heart so that I do not carry this repressed emotional experience into the next encounter I have.
We can choose to stay small in our selfish little stories or we can offer up our experience and allow our hearts to be transformed. We are empowered by owning our emotional experience, feeling our feelings, and offering our experience up in prayer instead of pushing our emotional state on those around us in an attempt to change the way we feel. May we choose to be transformed so that what we transmit is of love instead of fear.