By Bridget Wood
I don't know about you, but whenever I feel flat, ungrateful and like my self-worth has gone down the drain, there are two main culprits:
1. I'm comparing myself to someone else, thinking they have more than I do, are a better mother than I am, or are generally 'winning at life' when I am failing at it, and;
2. Guilt. Guilt over what I did or didn't do with my kids, friends, partner or at work.
For years I would chastise myself for doing what I knew was destructive, by saying the quote from the Buddha like a mantra, "Comparison is the thief of joy". Like most attempts as 'positive thinking', it brought little relief.
Because the thing is, I was missing the signals, the feedback from my psychology through the comparisons and guilt, that were trying to tell me I was out of balance and not seeing the full picture.
And so my medication was books. If I could just learn my way out of this funk I'd be okay. If I did what 'the experts' said i'd be okay. I'd be validated.
As I eventually learned, the best teachers guide you to what you already know, innately, but have forgotten through the layers of subordination and injected values from others into your life.
Because we all live our lives according to our own unique set of values, whether consciously or unconsciously. This is why we are never not 'on purpose'. Our wisdom is found when we deeply understand what drives us, what we are seeking to fulfill, and identify in ourselves the very things we admire about others. This is where the magic happens, and where we are humbled by our own magnificence.
We often have glimpses of this wisdom and divine order through hindsight weeks, months and years later, but it doesn't need to be so.
Our children are calling us into presence, and revealing our 'blind spots' daily - it's their job - so what if you could more readily lean into the discomfort, and create a 'pattern-interrupt' for these habits and have more freedom to drink up the wonder and beauty of this moment?
Week 1 of the Loathing To Loving Program teaches values; how to identify your own, and those of your loved ones and other people you come into contact with.
Knowing yours and others' values will help you:
- Give your children focussed attention that 'fills their cup' to they can play independently and you get time and space that's just for you
- Communicate to your partner what you'd really like in a way that honours their needs and wants too, creating a win-win for you both
- See how the apparently very different values of your partner, mother or other significant people in your life, are actually helping you get what you want out of life
- Reduce the 'brain noise' created by comparing yourself to other people, as you quickly recognise how futile this behaviour is as your values are so different. It's a fantasy to expect yourself to express and fulfill yourself in the same way as others - you are what you see in them, but it's in a different form. Find the form and you find your freedom.
Loving ourselves is the journey of a lifetime. Everyone that comes into our life is here to teach us. To really learn what their message is, you need a toolkit. This is why we are so deeply committed to building our tribe and expanding our capacity as mothers and women in the world, to live an aligned, fulfilled life for ourselves and our children.
It is an emotion so synonymous with motherhood that it almost deserves it's own definition in the dictionary. 'Mother guilt' is the perception that we have caused more pain that pleasure or more drawbacks than benefits to our children. It's what keeps us stuck in unhelpful patterns with our children, and is a breeding ground for resentment. Guilt blocks our heart from experiencing the present time with our children, and embracing the full spectrum of what it means to be a mother.
In a culture where children have more freedom, autonomy and 'rights' than ever before, it can be a delicate dance for mothers to know where to confidently set their boundaries, and how to set limits that are both firm and respectful. When we are not confident in these, our resentment builds, our sense of spaciousness disintegrates and we explode. To quash the guilt, it's important to see how your triggers for the guilt, whether it's losing your temper, 'working too much' or not being 'present enough' are actually helping rather than hindering your children. It's all about asking quality questions, because quality questions determine your perceptions - these are how we filter our world, our reality, and awaken the alignment and fulfillment that's there just waiting for us to claim.
In our Loathing To Loving Program you will learn how to ask yourself these quality questions to flip your perceptions, and how to master your own values and those of the people around you. It's a new paradigm for life.
If you haven't yet joined us, it's open now for Lifetime Access, next LIVE round is 20 February. Come and be part of our intimate tribe.
Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us.