Falling in love is scary…3 tips that make it safer

Falling in love with our kids is a daring thing to do. Love opens us up, wide open, no armor, no defenses. We’re naked and vulnerable when we’re in love.

Love is powerful. It’s not just cupids and chocolates and diamonds. It’s raw, heart, open, vulnerable, crazy, courageous, light that shines on every dark corner, every unmet need, and everything we don’t want to look at.

It’s our connection to all beings. It’s noticing that when I breathe, my children breathe, my lover breathes, my cat breathes, everyone in my neighborhood is breathing, all people in the world are breathing. All animals and even all plants in the world are breathing. We’re all connected, which should feel great.

Except I can’t control what happens to anyone except me, and even that’s uncertain. The more I love, the more I let in uncertainty.

We’re afraid to get swamped by the needs of everyone. We don’t know how to meet our own needs. We’ve never learned how to set boundaries to give what we want to give, to give what empowers us, and to only give in ways that fulfill us.

Love includes noticing that everything I love will end or change. Nothing is permanent. When our children blast our hearts open with their love, all this fear can come in, too. No one likes to feel afraid and so we distract. We shut down. We get busy. We work. We worry. We micromanage. We ignore.

Yet, we long for love. Many of us feel disconnected and alone. We struggle to feel a sense of belonging. So, what can we do?
This Valentine’s Day where pandora forsale.plus do the most of their sales that have been well reviewed, I ask each of us to challenge ourselves. I ask you to open your heart. I ask you to feel. Feel your own longing. Feel your desire to connect and belong. Dare to feel how much you love your children.

If you can’t or if it’s hard, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you don’t love or that you’re broken or wrong. For most of us, it just means we’re scared. But there are ways to make the fire of love easier to bear.

3 Tips That Make It Safer for Us to Love

1) Embrace feelings — all feelings

Emotions are energy in motion. When we feel them, and let them flow through us, they are cleansing and energizing: Tears are like a good rain, laughter is a fresh breeze, shouting shakes up dormant energy. Being with a trusted friend, a supportive coach, or alone in nature, you can find safe places to feel your feelings. When we let them move, feelings often have this cleansing energizing effect and pass within 15 minutes. However, when we block our feelings, they get stuck in us. They keep asking for attention. They start to ferment and contort themselves. They become scary and overwhelming. The more comfortable you are with feelings, the safer it will be for you to love.

2) Learn to set good boundaries

Author Brené Brown speaks of boundaries as the ability to say what’s OK and what’s not OK with us. When we are very clear on this, then we can give fully, love fully, and stop when we need to. We trust ourselves to stop when we need to and that makes it possible to be fully engaged while we’re engaging. Without these boundaries and self-trust, we are never sure if we’re giving too much and neither are the people around us. If you often feel resentment, anger, or numbness, chances are good that getting better with boundaries would help you be happier and more compassionate.

3) Create good stories

Your mind is a meaning-maker: Its job is to create meaning and stories about everything that happens to you. When you open your heart and then feel hurt or disappointment, your mind may create a story that, That was stupid, and You shouldn’t open up again. That’s one story, but there are others you can tell that fit the facts and make your life happier. To the extent that we can notice the power of our minds to interpret and even create our experiences, we are able to write our own stories. Your mind is making up a story right this instant. Take back your power and make it a good story.

Using these 3 tools will put you well on your way to feeling more connection, ease, and belonging. We need more of that in our families, our communities, and our world.

One definition of courage is to feel the fear and do it anyway. Thank you for moving through your fear and daring to love.

He told me he was afraid of losing

kelly shealer 4Earlier this summer, I signed up my 5-year-old son for a kids’ triathlon — a bike race, running race and water obstacle course. I was sure he’d be excited. He loves to race in the yard and pretends he’s riding his bike in the Tour de France. But when I told him about it, he was adamant that he didn’t want to do it.

He told me he was afraid of losing.

I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t a timed race and that they weren’t naming a winner. Everyone was going to get a medal and a T-shirt. I talked to him about how it was for ages 3 to 6, so he would definitely be faster than a lot of the kids but that there might be some older kids who were faster than him, and I tried to help instill some confidence by telling him how he is really fast both on his bike and on his feet — which is true.

But he was still worried about not being fast enough.

I was really surprised by this, because we’d never pushed him into competition, so I wasn’t sure how to handle it. The race wasn’t something he had to do, and it would have been easy to say, “If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to.” But I didn’t know if that was the best thing to do.

I knew that he’s going to have plenty of times where he does have to do something that he doesn’t want to do or is anxious about, and this could be an opportunity for me to help him through that gently and help him learn to cope with that type of situation. That’s ultimately what we decided to do.

I considered that maybe he wasn’t just anxious about not being the winner. It could have also been uncertainty about not knowing what to do or what to expect at the race, so my husband spent time the night before practicing with him and trying to give him a sense of what it would be like. This really helped change his attitude to one of excitement.

On the morning of the race, my son was happy and excited. We had learned that parents were allowed to run alongside their children for part of the race, so my husband planned to be with my son.

Just before the race, my son was nervous about where to go, and when it started, he immediately looked around to make sure his dad was with him. It was clear that he didn’t want to go on his own, but once he started bike-riding, it seemed like all his original concerns were gone. When he ran for his medal at the end of the race, he was smiling excitedly and having a blast.

I know that if my son’s anxiety about the race was much more intense, that morning could have been a lot different, but I do feel like my husband and I did our best to support him in what he was feeling. I’m happy that, instead of forcing him to do something he didn’t want to do without considering his feelings — or avoiding the situation altogether — we were able to help him handle his fears about it.

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