Thursday, September 20, 2012

YOU Could Never do THAT!

It's automatic. The voice in my head sees a Mom with 8 kids and it says, "Oh man...I could never do that." I see a Mom friend feed her physically challenged child with her fingers, every meal, patiently. I see a workshop leader be so charming and funny with a person who is berating him. I see my husband surf the web, find a solution in minutes to something I was struggling with for two hours, and fix the computer. I see a teacher calmly have 35 kids put their new fun bendy rulers away and pay attention.
Each time, my brain tells me "I could never do that." It doesn't even consider if i would want to, it just automatically decided I couldn't.

And it it true for me. Really. I couldn't do THAT. Not when I am thinking I can't. Not when I am comparing myself to the way the other person is doing that. That voice in my head is automatic. I don't want to think that, I don't plan to think that, I can't even imagine I get anything out of thinking that.
Except I do.
I get to stay safe and play small.
The voice in my head gets to be right for one more day and survive.
That is the function of my brain. It's JOB is to have me survive. So, as a Mom, when I see something that looks challenging in the parenting world, my brain tells me not to do it. And not just "Don't do it," but " YOU could never do that." In other words, "THEY can but you can't. There is something inherently wrong with YOU. You would fail at that." The brain tells us this because human beings are crazy about failure. That is the last thing in the world we would rather do. Literally hundreds of millions have died because they would rather die than fail on the battlefield.
So everyday there are things I subconsciously say no to, that escape my realm of possible, because I see something or hear of something and my brain's response is "YOU could never do that." Done deal. Idea gone.

I wonder what I could create in my life by not listening to this voice of survival?
I wonder what battles I wouldn't lose if I stood up and fought because I can?
I wonder what I could create in the world if I wasn't sidetracked by my own brain's desire to hide out and stay small?

As a parent I met other inspiring parents every day. Parents who traveled around the world with their 12, 10 and 3 year old, living in Europe, the middle east and South America for ten months. That time my brain said "You could never do that NOW." At least I know I could do it, just not now. We know how that turns out 99% of the time..not now becomes not ever by default..

I get that I am not going to choose to do everything I see or am inspired by...but what is possible if instead of hearing that voice, telling me I could never do that...or do that now....I actually said ok whatever...What if I did?
What if I looked at, speculated and created what is possible if I did do that?
What if the world saw people, loving their enemy, caring for the elderly, sheltering the foster children, feeding the starving, forgiving their parents....and they actually said "What if I did do that?"

What kind of world could we create?

Kids create all the time. When they are three, they don't have a voice, for the most part, that doesn't say they can't do something they want to do. "Mommy I can fly! Mommy I do that! (no matter what we are doing, cooking, fixing a computer, cutting hair...)"

As a child we didn't tell ourselves we couldn't. We told ourselves we could. We learn from our environment that we can't. As parents now...perhaps our job isn't to protect them from the world by telling them they can't do certain things, but to ask them what it would be like if they did. No matter how far fetched it seems.
"Oh you can fly? Where do you want to fly to?"
"Oh you can do this? Okay I will give you this tool and you can fix your toys! What toy are you going to fix?"

When we wonder with them about what they can do, we create possibilities and connection. They may not do those things, but most importantly, they feel heard. What they want is important and yes they CAN do that.
Wondering is the ticket to love, connection and all things possible, for all of us!

Zen Honeycutt

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