Michele Coleman, Ph. D. LMFT
Let us return to the Attachment Cycle of Connect → Disrupt → Repair. As the parent in charge, we are responsible for bringing repair to our relationship with our child. From your observations over the past month, regardless of what contributed to the disruption, it is our job as the Change Agent, to be responsible for setting up the repair in the relationship. Our children are gifts, and they seem to know where our wounds are. They find them, and then lay on them. I see it like the movie, Inside Out describes. Our children find our buttons and push them over and over and sometimes push them without releasing for awhile.
Our buttons are simply old wounds, probably from our childhood that have been buried deep within us, waiting patiently for someone to notice so that wound could be healed. In order to own our healing and not lash out at our child for pushing the wound, we have to focus on taking ownership and being aware of when our buttons have been pushed. This is your pain. Own it. Look at it. Embrace the pain. The pain is less when we choose to look at it and embrace it rather than ignore it and keep it pushed down.
Get curious about when was the first time you experienced that pain. Did you blame a parent, friend or spouse for doing something that caused you pain? What belief about yourself became embedded as a result of that experience? Are you still holding onto that belief? Write in your journal the current beliefs about yourself that just surfaced.
If you have written at least one belief in your journal about yourself that you became aware of in relationship with another person and you are ready for the next step ask yourself: Is that belief true?
What would you like to believe instead? Write it down. Take this replacement belief or thought, and then follow the first step in Dr. Rick Hanson’s approach to Hardwiring Happiness. Notice and then journal about when you show up positively expressing this new belief you have come to know as the truth about you. You can engage in this practice as often as you like until you see this new belief has replaced the old wounding. In this way, you begin to change your brain and take another step in preparing for your son or daughter’s entrance into your family.