Interesting, that when somebody, usually my children, “crosses me” and bucks my idea of how I think it should be, there is something in me that wants to withdraw and withhold. Withdraw and withhold my attention, interest, presence, approval, affection…
It has a feeling almost, of a moody, tempestuous child who hasn’t gotten her way and is going to act out! There’s a feeling that a battlefield has been constructed in my mind, with an invisible line drawn in the sand. Me on one side and you on the other.
Certainly not the most helpful behaviour I’ve adopted over the years. There is a throwback to childhood, when displaying my anger or unhappiness or openly saying how I felt wasn’t encouraged or rewarded. It was definitely frowned upon and shut down. Wanting to voice hurt, but restricted. Lots of holding in and holding back on my part and then finding creative ways to eventually deal with what felt uncomfortable.
Much retreating in wounded silence was one way I handled this. Inwardly withdrawing my presence and closing off my heart to others. My imagination served as a great place to play out how I’d really like the scene to unfold.
This day, I caught myself with an unspoken desire for someone to fail, because they had dared to do something without my approval or support! I wasn’t on board for this project. I didn’t give my stamp of approval, so why should I wish it any success?
Wow. Not much flowing of approval here. Not much in the way of celebration for another stepping up and being secure in themself.
What would I rather see?
I want to applaud when you stand up on the stage to sing and dance, shining your light so brightly. I want to celebrate with you, recognising your brilliance and our shared glory. I want to encourage your growing self-confidence with my support rather than tearing you down with my undermining vision for failure.
Time to let go of wanting others to fail. Time to release wanting others to stay dependent, needy and small.
Time to step up and play the grandest version of ourselves we can imagine and be happy when others do the same. Time to share the spot light, wanting the very best possible for each other.