Valentine Moments With Your Children
One of the things I loved doing as a child was making very fancy and creative valentines for my parents. I would spend hours designing and building wonderful cards with little poems in them. The only problem was that, while my mother would receive her card graciously, she never received it with her heart. She would smile and tell me how lovely it was, but I never felt her love coming back to me. My mother did not know how to open her heart, how to smile at me with love and cherishing in her eyes. My father would never even notice his card.
I wanted to connect with my parents, to share love with them, to know their hearts, but their hearts were hidden. Sadly, my mother died last year at the age of 85 without ever being able to truly share her heart with me. My father is 91 and his heart has always been closed.
Your children need to feel your heart and soul. They need you to take the time to stop what you are doing and just be with them. They need to you really see them to see who they are beneath their outward ways of being.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to see their essence, their true Self, their individual expression of Spirit within them. When children are deeply seen and valued by their parents, they learn to see and value themselves. All children need this profound mirroring from their parents to feel intrinsically lovable and worthy.
The problem is that we cannot see the souls of our children and embrace their intrinsic worth unless we see our own intrinsic worth. If you suffer from core shame - if you feel intrinsically unworthy, unlovable, not good enough, unimportant, or inadequate - then you cannot energetically communicate to your children their inherent worth. Your own feelings of unworthiness will be projected upon them, no matter how loving you try to be with them. You can let them know in many ways how wonderful they are, but when they energetically pick up your core shame, they will either integrate that shame into their own beings, or move into the opposite direction, believing that they are superior to you, which can cause entitlement issues.
In order to love and cherish your children in the way they need to be loved and cherished, you need to love and cherish yourself. The greatest gift you can give your children this Valentine's Day and every day is to embrace a daily process of healing your own core shame.
Core shame comes from two different sources:
- If you were shamed as a child for who you are, you may have absorbed these false beliefs about yourself and continue to act as if they are true.
- If you were not loved in the way you needed to be loved, you might have decided at a young age that it was your fault that you were not being loved that you were flawed, inadequate, unworthy, and so on.
Core shame is often connected with a need to have control over getting love, so a child may decide, "If it's my fault that I'm not being loved because there is something wrong with me, then there is something I can do about it. I can try to become the "right" way and then people will love me." Sometimes we stay attached to the belief in our core shame to maintain the illusion that we can actually control how others feel about us and treat us.
You can begin loving yourself by:
- Staying tuned into your feelings and taking action to think and behave in ways that create feelings of worth and well-being such as standing up for yourself, speaking your truth, being as kind to yourself as you are to others.
- Making sure you have the time to replenish through prayer and meditation, creativity, time with friends, exercise, reading and hot baths. Its not always easy to find this time when you have children and possibly work outside the home, but even 20 minutes a day may be enough to feel regenerated.
- Become aware of self-judgment and consciously stop, telling yourself, "We are not going there." Stopping self-judgment will go a long way toward healing core shame.
If you commit to a daily process of loving yourself and letting go of trying to get love from others, you will find that your core shame gradually resolves. Core shame resolves when we let go of believing that we cause others to feel and behave the way they do. As you heal your core shame, you can love your children from your true Self, your own individual expression of Spirit within. When your children experience your love for them from your true Self rather than from your wounded self that carries your core shame, they will feel your heart and know that they are truly lovable and worthy of being loved.
As Valentine's Day approaches - this day of sharing love why not commit to learning to love yourself so that you can deeply share love with your children? There is nothing more profound than the sharing of love that comes from an open heart. Your children need and deserve to have this sacred experience with you. Because children often project their experience of their parents onto God, their ability to stay spiritually connected as adults is greatly facilitated by your own heart connection with them.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" (Over 1 million sold), "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?", "Healing Your Aloneness", "Inner Bonding", and "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?" Visit Margaret at http://www.innerbonding.com.