When things are not going well, when everything around us feels like it's falling apart, it is a good time to be strong and clear and loving. Don't fall into the darkness, be the light.
When my kids are sick, part of me starts to fall into it, beginning to feel sick, too. I need to remind myself that although I love them, I am a separate person. Their sickness is theirs, not mine. I return to my own body and am better able to care for them.
When my kids are angry, sad, or upset, I can feel pulled into that, too. Without noticing it, I can adopt their mood, or an opposite mood. I have to catch myself and return to my own center. I have to remind myself that it's okay for them to feel what they feel AND that I don't have to feel it with them.
Sometimes things just feel bad in my house, like everyone is off center. Or I'm with someone really sad. Or I'm in a group of people who are arguing or complaining. In each situation, I know how easy it is for me to collapse in to the emotional state around me, and how important it is to to stay clear. When I am grounded in my own self, I am available to be loving, supportive, and present with my children and other people.
Do you ever fall into your child's (or someone else's) experience? If so, try this:
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.