Why Can’t I Change?

Q&A

Q: I have read your material, I have listened to your CDs and I have watched your videos. Yet, I still find myself parenting from the old traditional paradigm of power and authority rather than from love. Why is this so difficult?

A: This question is, in general an excellent one and stymies many parents. So consider this advice for us all. We don’t listen. And when we do listen we don’t really hear. And when we do hear, we don’t believe what we’re hearing. And when we do believe what we’re hearing we don’t practice it. Becoming mindful of this process, and where we get stuck, is the first step to breaking the cycle of “why not”.

So how do we change?

  1. We listen to the material.
  2. We hear the message as in… we understand, agree to move forward with, even if we don’t fully agree with the material – we work with the info, process it, ask questions, wrestle with it. Try to see the truth therein.
  3. We believe it, or we believe in it enough to be willing to try it out – to move ahead. We take a stand and say yes.
  4. We put it into practice. We try it out wholeheartedly as if our life depended on it, or at least our child’s life. And if all else fails, we fake it till we make it as they say.

The paradigm of love is not something to ‘believe in’. If that is the case for you, then you may be at the “don’t really hear” part. mom stressing end lying 350wWe don’t practice love because we ‘believe’ in it (although for some, that is a good start, but certainly not the end). Beliefs are often not practiced. We practice love because we feel it, because we realize we are it. Because when we look at our child, we see, we know, we feel the pain, the struggle, the heartbreak that they have experienced.

It is not a belief to be called upon in a moment of stressful behavior, although once again, it does help if we are notHeart New feeling it, to be able to take a moment, to step back, to breathe and to feel not only our own stress and pain in that moment – which for many of us may be the very first time we are “really feeling it”, but to be able to connect with our child’s pain (or spouses, or friend or parent). Once we connect and feel, love is no longer a belief – and it is no longer a choice, it just is. And that dear parent, is where the real work – and the fun – begins. We don’t choose love to change our child, we do it to change everything.

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