I’ve been thinking….
As a therapist, one of my greatest joys is bearing witness to my clients finding their voice and feeling what they feel.
I help clients listen to their inner wisdom and have the courage to honor their longing for peace, calm, joy, and playfulness. I am guided in this work from a place of my own inner calm, peace, and courage.
And then COVID hit. My much-anticipated vacations got scrapped. My kids experienced so much loss when schools closed. The pandemic canceled proms and graduation. Gatherings weren’t allowed. My work went online and my parenting classes were postponed.
My illusion about the US not being vulnerable to a pandemic was dismantled. My optimistic expectation of a financially secure future was knocked on its side. We were told to stay home.
I decided to create an online parenting class. No stupid virus was going to stop me from doing work that feeds my soul: helping parents be the parents they want to be. No way.
But when I tried to create my class, I felt mute. It was like there was a wet blanket over the top of me. I had nothing to say.
I told myself, “Be patient, grasshopper. It will come back. You’ve got this.”
But I didn’t “got this.” I tossed and turned at night. Stress and anxiety that I thought I had licked through therapy in earlier years popped up as a reminder that the inner work never ends. A doubting voice inside my head told me that others were more qualified and that my class might not be successful. That doubting voice fed me a lot of garbage about not being good enough, smart enough, young enough, hard-working enough, funny enough….. you name it…. just not enough.
Every now and then, the wise, nurturing voice in my head would look across the aisle at my doubter and say, “What the heck are you talking about? Kerry is a bad-a$# when it comes to parenting, and inner growth, relationships, and marriage! This is nonsense! She speaks to hundreds of people at a time and teaches well-loved classes year after year. Knock it off.”
But honestly, I continued to feel the heavy wet blanket of doubting myself. It was disorienting.
Then something started to shift. I remembered that what matters is who I AM, not what I DO. I was drawn to spend time in the forest communing with nature. I finally discovered a love of meditation. Sometimes on my bike, I felt huge bursts of light and energy and a powerful drive to get back to teaching parenting, but from a new perspective.
I’ve taught Love and Logic® classes for 21 years. I love much of that model and will always be loyal to some of the brilliant, effective strategies developed by the founders. But now, I don’t think I’d want to teach parenting classes unless they address the whole person who is doing the parenting. We who take parenting classes and read parenting books do so because we want our kids to grow up as good humans living in loving families. But it takes so much more than parenting skills to provide this.
Raising good humans in connected families requires a 3-legged stool of:
1) parenting skills
3) healthy relationships
Now I’ve told my doubting voice that it may be right but that it can’t stop me from showing up as ME. And the ME wants to love parents by supporting them in parenting well, living fully alive, and being in relationships that feed their souls.
My big shift has been moving from fear to love. Instead of creating an online class from a place of fear, I’m doing it because I WANT to. If it resonates for some and makes a difference, I’ll celebrate. If not, I’ll at least go to my grave knowing that I went for it and did it scared, but I did it. Because I LOVE parents, and I LOVE children. I’m going for it because all my years of mothering, teaching parenting, and being a marriage and family therapist have taught me some things. I’m just gonna share from a place of LOVE.
Do you relate to this? How did your internal dialogue shift during this year of living in a pandemic? Are you doing things you wouldn’t have imagined yourself doing a year ago? I’m here to cheer you on in shifting from fear to love.