I read an email aloud about my daughter’s school putting on a talent show, and instantly she wanted to perform. Knew what song she wanted to sing and everything (You are My Sunshine), so I signed her up.
A week later, I hung up a call and glanced at my calendar. Seeing the event that evening, I instantly felt nervous. The whole thing was about to get real.
What if she bowed out at the last minute?
What if she forgot her lyrics?
What if people laughed?
What if she fell on stage?
Avoiding the jitters bubbling in my stomach, I hopped over to Facebook. But then, I closed my laptop and got quiet.
What was I really afraid of?
In the stillness, a voice inside me said “You’re afraid that this experience might bring her pain.”
Crap. Why did I tell her about the stupid Talent Show? I reiterate looking both ways and wearing a bike helmet and buckling seatbelts and regular dental care! Isn’t it in a mom’s job description to shield her child from pain???
The quiet voice inside said “No, that’s not your job. Guide her with how to cope with it instead.”
And it hit me. As much as I’d like to, I can’t protect my kids from their own pain. That’s their experience. Not mine.
“Pass the truth to the next generation. Give them early what we found late.” – Brooke Hampton
When it comes to emotional health, we parents are playing a long game. Because it’s experiences like talent shows, and skinned knees, and hearing someone say they don’t want to be friends anymore, that give us the chance to show them that pain isn’t to be feared. It’s information.Pain is information to be used, not feared. Click To Tweet
No matter how painful an experience feels at the time, they will be ok. This is information that helps us build our coping skills like resilience, inner strength, and confidence.
My job isn’t to teach them to fear pain or to avoid it. It’s to teach them:
- how to access this ever-present, omnipotent, unconditional love
- how to ask for guidance in the stillness, and
- how to trust the guidance they receive.
Reframing my job in this way, I again felt at peace. And fully enjoyed a wonderful evening in awe of our brave girl.
I believe that it’s the healing of fear that allows any parent to truly be there for her child. No matter what happens out on that stage. ♥