If you have been following my latest posts on Linkedin, its all about the Sage vs Saboteurs, positive vs negative feelings in your head and how to conquer those Saboteurs (Sabs), to free ourselves from this unnecessary and often self-created torment of the mind.
While I was sitting in the autumn sun, sipping on my morning cup of coffee, my thoughts running wild on how my younger son was growing up so fast, the emotional rollercoaster of his teenage mood swings, how my husband and I will be empty nesters soon, and life is about to change once again. In that moment, I felt compelled to pen down these thoughts. Its been a while since I’ve written something from a mother’s perspective, I ”thought” (yet again!). I tell myself, enough about personal branding, about mental fitness, about coaching….. till suddenly out of nowhere the word “Fear” emerged in my mind. Instantly, all my thoughts came to a halt, and I found myself staring into space, holding my breath. It was in that moment of stillness that I realized I had been allowing fear to rule my mind, tightening its grip on me. Guilt, shame, and anger surfaced as manifestations of that fear. The more I thought about my son, about how he is growing up, leaving the nest so soon, leaving for his overseas school trip today, leaving me behind…. the more I WAS SABOTAGED.
Then just like that a tear welled up in my eye, all of sudden the conscious effort of keeping the coach in me away and trying to be ”just mom”, made me realise that the thought was all born out of GUILT. The feeling of always wanting to do better and better for my son, even though he no longer required the same level of support, who is growing up at the speed of light and with it his changing needs and demands that I am not being able to recognise or accept, the inability of the mother in me to ‘let go’, the need for that appreciation, gratification, the need for love, for attention, for being wanted, so strong that it overpowered any other rational thoughts I had. I wanted to keep my son “mine” and in the process I was going against the entire upbringing that we have given him and the best part is that I did not even realise it.
Till I called it out. Called out that Saboteur, just as how I would encourage my coachees to do. Call out that fear, that guilt, that shame, that came from my PLEASER Saboteur, that always wants me to please my son, make him laugh, keep him safe, make things perfect for him, and not realizing that there is a silent expectation in return. And in calling out my Pleaser, I was making it lose its power on me. Gave it a nickname “Pussycat” – good, that made me smile. Get away from me Pussycat! Cause you are not real, you are just a thought in my head, you are NOT ME. I took two minutes to quickly ground myself in my present, using the power of PQ reps I take 2-3 deep breaths, feeling the air go though my nose, my chest, really feeling it, as it passes through my lungs and then letting it out consciouly, my mind focused on it, not letting any other thouughts come up, just that relaxing feeling that I get with each passing breath, till about 2 minutes later I open my eyes and feel rejuvenated, positive, alive.
I am proud of my 15-year old, who has learned to be independent, confident, resilient through the ups and downs of life, despite the raging hormones that must be creating havoc in his mind and body. My little boy who has grown up to be a mini-man, creating his own “little” (UK size 11) footprints in this world, making his mark in his own distinctive way. And I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to raise him and his brother, along with my husband. As parents, we’ve done our best, and we continue to do so, always learning from our mistakes and rising stronger. In Shirzad Chamine’s words “We cannot control the waves and the wind, but we can learn to be awesome surfers.”
Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-looking-at-sea-while-sitting-on-beach-247314/