I seem to be having a hard time getting organized lately. "Hurry up we're running late," seems to be my mantra of choice recently, and I'm making a conscious effort to change that. My son and I did some volunteer work last week before I went to work. I purposely left home early so that we wouldn't be rushed. I made one stop at a store on the way, and then managed to get stuck in rush hour traffic. That would've been ok, except I ended up on the wrong street. Twice.
After making a concerted effort to be on time and still being twenty minutes late, I was getting frazzled. I started muttering to myself under my breath. Berating myself for always being rushed, asking why this had to happen again. I was about to break down and cry when a tiny voice of reason drifted up from the back seat.
"Don't cry mama. Stay calm. It's ok. Try your magic breathing." Apparently my son has actually been listening to me.
As I tried to calm down I realized my feelings weren't just something I could switch off. I knew I was being irrational, but I needed a way to release the frustration before I could feel better. Far too many of us just swallow those feelings down; burying them in a deep dark place inside. Harboring them for later, when they begin to infect us from within, causing dis-ease because they were never released and dealt with properly.
I thought of the words to one of my son's songs. "It's alright to cry. Crying gets the sad out of you." I mentioned this to my son, who again told me to try my magic breathing (Close your eyes, slow inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth).
It wasn't until today that I realized the lesson from getting lost and being late for the volunteering. Not only did I learn that my son actually pays attention to what I tell him, but I learned first hand how hard it is to do the things I tell him.
When he is having a full blown melt down because he is exhausted or frustrated, I expect him to stop behaving like that as quickly as possible. I've taught him about magic breathing, never realizing how hard it was to accomplish when your emotions are like a pinball machine and you just need to vent.
I've been around a lot of parents lately that expect their children to "get some control" and never show any emotion. I feel really sorry for these kids, and I think we all need a constructive way to release emotions. My son was upset the other day, and he went over and started banging on his drum. Some parents might have been upset by this "lack of control," but I was actually really proud of him. To me, it was a positive way to release negative energy that if buried inside, could cause him harm later.
Am I saying we should all go around yelling and banging on things every time we're upset? Of course not. But I am saying that it's alright to cry. Or bang a drum. Or hit a punching bag or pillow. Or stomp your feet. It doesn't matter how old you are. Let your sad out. Or anger, frustration, hurt - whatever it is you're dealing with. And feel the freedom of release.