When my teenage son told me he had a meltdown in class yesterday, I calmly and nonchalantly asked what was up? He shared with me that he felt just confused by social interactions and pressures. He explained that sometimes he wanted to be alone, but didn't want to be judged for sitting alone or looked at like a freak.
He also shared that sometimes, he experienced uncertainty about who to sit with or who to hang out with..(tears in his eyes) my inner "mom alarm" began to sound. This was my sweet, funny, "wise beyond his years" kid, what is this? Before I knew it, my other son told me a classmate was discussing suicide. My worried feelings quickly turned to me feeling sick to my stomach. On the outside, I was the ever-present mom listening and asking if I could coach the kids on the topics. They allowed me to, and I think I did ok.
Still, when I woke up this morning I couldn't help but cry. The overwhelming feelings of fear and uncertainty were too much to push down. I've always believed we have a unique and incredible family! However….there is a but…. BUT, i have known that the boys should be out shooting hoops more often, even against their will rather than in their rooms on Xbox. I know they should be socializing more outside of our family rather than it always being just the four of us. They need less time on Netflix or chatting on reddit, and more time in nature. But that's all normal, right?
Here is the truth, my intuition has been telling me all the things I should be doing, but overall we are such a loving and communicative family (way better than the kind I grew up in) that I justified my inaction. it hasn't gotten bad yet....Not bad enough to change. This lead me to question why we allow things to become really, really shitty before we notice enough to pay attention? To take action? It feels to me that this behavior or outcome is pretty common. Let the bad relationship go to worse before we end it. Let the money drain continue until we are in panic mode. Deal with the chronic pain until it becomes unbearable before we go to the doctor.
Is it loyalty? Is it fear? Is it a buried sense of not enough-ness or lack of deserving? Is it just pure laziness, and complacency? YES! YES, IT IS ALL OF THE ABOVE And you probably have some more reasons you can add to the list. I am writing this because I am being alerted. I have been given a wakeup call from a couple of clients, and now the message has been sent through my own life and family. OK I AM LISTENING!
As a coach, my clients are looking to get out of the old patterns and paradigms, to create new awesome habits. Which is why they come clean with me pretty quickly as to what they are noticing. They will share with me their tough experiences, like a relationship that hasn't been working for a long time or their constant money issues, health problems etc.. I usually tell them to first, bless the message or situation: You are getting a flag, a wake up call, a message, be grateful for it. You probably have been ignoring the nudges up until now.
Ask: "what is it, I need to know about this?": If it is a nudge in the financial department, has this been your pattern? Is the here we go again alarm going off?
Listen: What do you need to do to stop this cycle? An idea will come, don't judge it, listen and act. Small or big, act on it. Is your stiff neck telling you, you need to move? Your hoarse voice telling you to speak? Then do that! Your intuition will talk to you as loud as you are willing to listen.
ACT on intuitions: Don't ignore your instincts, come on! At some level you have been putting off "The talk" or the Dr's appointment, the budget planning, the family meeting. Lean in. Address it before it becomes a THING. Because it is most likely, almost positively going to become a THING, you know it is.
Until the melt down and suicide topics came up… it has been fine. Here is the truth, it isn't fine, it could get bad. It doesn't need to break for you to make it better. When the car starts smoking get it to the mechanic, don't wait for the engine to seize. You are getting a sign, a signal something is off. Thank the message and take action.
If you're looking for that magic pill, action is it. I swear, if you are looking for a solution, ACTION IS IT. My Action: I decided that we, as a family, are going to do more things in the community. We are going to go buy toys and distribute them to the poorest neighborhoods, and give food on Christmas eve. We are going to start an annual gratitude jar where we each in the family adds a gratitude to the jar weekly and we will read it together next year. I am going to encourage more interactions with friends without mom and dad always being there. I am writing a blog to help others as I am reminded to help myself. It is my start before it gets bad. What will you do before it gets bad?
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