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Family Matters

New Beginnings Born From the Past

January 3rd, 2017

By Justin Hubert

One day, my oldest child looked at me and said with remarkable clarity, “Everything we see is from the past.” She continued, “I mean, the light, it comes to us really fast, but we are always seeing the past.”

 

Woah.

As it is on the outside, so it is on the inside.

Everything we feel, know, and think is learned past experience and thus is from the past as well.

And yet we take what is seen, and what has been learned and with it we co-create the future in the present moment.

Every day is new, we carry the memories and emotions of the past with us, most people’s greatest fear is that the negative parts of our past will recreate themselves before our eyes. How do we make sure we don’t recreate the mistakes of the past?

In addition to becoming highly mindful of the present moment, we are encouraged to process old emotional wounds so they loose their stickiness in our lives.

We can aid our children in this, in real-time, by processing emotional situations with them. One method is to ask children (after the emotion of an event has subsided – hours or sometimes days later) how the emotion felt in their inner body. Doing so in the context of a loving relationship adds important components to these dark emotions – love and the understanding of survivability.

Let's imagine your child has a shameful event at school – the tendency on these events is to clam up and never speak about it. This can have energetic reverberations that last well into our adult years – in essence “decisions” made as a child by nature are immature decisions, but it happens all of the time, perhaps you hear your own inner voice having said in the past “I will never _____ ever again.” Unprocessed emotion keeps us from expressing ourselves from a place of our true essence. When we help our children process difficult emotions not only do we help with their maturation, we literally ADD love and compassion to the traumatic memory. So instead of an “I will never____” thought occurring when the shame feeling is triggered we open up the child to think “I can always talk to my family/caregivers about something like this.”

One of my very favourite stories about asking my children how emotions feel in their inner bodies came from my then five-year-old daughter. I asked her how it felt when she fought with her brother – her response was awesome, it was valid (it was her feelings) creative, and expressive – “Well, it is like there are butterflies here (motions to her chest) and then (her words getting faster) they turn black and just come right out of my mouth!”

Exploring the inner realities (feelings) with children adds a caring compassionate dimension to our relationships. In addition to helping them explore and give words to these often unmentioned realities, it can be fun and cathartic for us too as we lead by example exploring our own inner world– the net result, a deepening of our relationships.

When emotions are processed they loose their hold on our lives – the past ceases to recreate itself. Giving children the tools to process emotions early on can have a profoundly positive impact on their future ability to handles increasingly stressful situations, and continues to build relational resilience.

Justin Hubert is CEO of Heritage Family Services www.heritagefamilyservices.com and Owner of Relationship Inspired Learning and Development www.relationshipInspired.com.

 

 

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