Last weekend, I went to NYC for Dr. Shefali’s Evolve Summit. 350 parents, educators, and coaches under one roof for a shared vision: raising our consciousness for the good of ourselves, our children, and the world. The first night, all I did was cry – emotionally moved by so many amazing people and conversations. I was detoxing, making space for the personal growth that would follow over the next 2 days. I could physically feel myself shedding a lifetime of unconscious limitation, a weight lifting from my shoulders. I saw so many great takeaways, but here’s the one that feels most meaningful now:
Agreement in a relationship is convenient, but not required.
Couples do not have to be on the same page with their children OR WITH EACH OTHER. On a spiritual level, our children have chosen us individually for their evolution. Just as I chose (and keep choosing each day) my husband as my partner to walk this life with for my evolution.
So fast forward to a couple nights ago, my husband and I got into a debate about violent criminal/sex offenders and whether they can/should be rehabilitated. I know, hot politics for a Friday night.
Some of his comments pushed my buttons.
As I sat on the couch next to him, I recognized the questions that were bubbling up in my mind. Am I good enough? Do I need to prove my worth? Reason #1,238 that I’m grateful for my husband. He was unknowingly holding up a mirror for me to ask those questions again. He’s the perfect spiritual match for me because he shows me where I’m still healing.
The buttons in us may never go away, but only we can change what they do.
The old me, unaware of these inner questions of worthiness, would’ve reacted emotionally. I would’ve probably argued for an hour or two, frustrated at how my words were failing me in some way, desperate to prove why how I feel is how he should feel too. The evening would’ve resulted in tear stains, clogged sinuses, and exhaustion from trying to bend his view point to mine.
And sadly, those questions would still be underneath the surface, unanswered.
Instead, I shared my feelings. I shared the button his comments had pushed in me and the awareness I have of how it formed. I shared that my internal questions were not about him and his opinion or beliefs. I took full responsibility for my perspective and my energy. I remained neutral and calm.
When someone pushes your buttons, thank them.
I was and am really grateful for that conversation. It illuminated a place my ego tempted me to go either out of defense or attack. It gave me the opportunity to see how I love myself more than ever before in my adult life, regardless of what anyone else may think or say. It was a chance for me to receive my own love and reassurance that my mere existence makes me worthy. I’m evolving.
To be clear, I’ve always felt inclusive of others and respectful of their perspective and opinions. But in the early days of parenting with this man, I became enmeshed in the idea that we had to be united in our core beliefs and viewpoints for the sake of our children. I see this now as the illusion of the ego and completely counter-productive to modeling respect and partnership for our kids. “You need to be like me for us to create the environment I want for my children.” That’s not partnership or conscious parenting – it’s righteous control.
That’s painful to admit. But also freeing.
Surrender is acceptance of what you cannot change, power is acting on what you can.
Trying to control an outcome or change someone else is exhausting. Refocusing that energy to the only person we can change (ourselves) is empowering. Transforming our buttons from pain and suffering to acceptance and healing.
I can choose my perspective. I can create clarity around my boundaries. I can give voice to my wants and feelings and opinions. I can experience unconditional love from the inside out.
No matter what pain or loss happened in the past, or that the future may hold, wholeness in one’s spirit can never be taken away. This is the ultimate comfort, and what I most want to model for our kids. ♥