Children (& dogs) are mirrors…

“Children are mirrors; they will always show you exactly what is going on inside of you. Each phase of their growth is an opportunity to heal your own pain, to go deeper inside yourself and become more truly human.” ~Vimala McClure

This quote resonance deeply with me as there are countless times this has reflected in my life through my children. I even see this pattern with my dogs, who were my first kids. I am so grateful that I reached out for help, committed myself to healing, can empathize with my children’s feelings and consciously take responsibility for the energy I emit or my own feelings that I project.

One glaring reflection was feeling intense insecurity and fear in social situations. Both my children are blessed with a gregarious hearts and a wonderful group of friends. Every time they would ask me to have friends over, I’d look at my house and feel dread and panic. I was inundated with a daunting list of all the things I should do but don’t want to. I felt terrified thinking about what others would think of me and being judged.  My kids would end up, rightfully, pleading with me. I’d start spurting out a frantic list of things to do for me to feel comfortable to invite a friend over. This would naturally end up stressing them out, they’d give up and feel guilty for even asking.

The whole interchange triggers my feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability like I am failing as a person and parent. To further the insult, I was aware that I was role-modeling to my children that we should feel ashamed and give up. My fears were pushing away the level of connectedness I preach and desperately needed.

An amusing side to this scenario was that I was so overwhelmed with the negativity that consumed me about inviting people to our house that I started to use my dog as an excuse. My dog was so intuned with me that he sensed my fear and would behave more aggressively to protect me. His attentive behaviors than triggered more fears in me which only escalated his protectiveness because he could sense my heightened fear. Negativity begets negativity and it cycles on till it escalates enough that someone gets physically hurt (emotional pain is usually prominent and ongoing).

My dog was fulfilling my self-prophecy that I cannot handle it, that I should feel afraid, and need protection. F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. I knew I needed to face this when my son started introducing strangers to me and arranging play dates himself. I was at a pivotal point where healing my social fears and judgmental thoughts as well as choosing to give my children a new story of how to overcome fears. Thank goodness I have a thousand tools to do this and not afraid to see my reflection. I am grateful for the light my children shine on me. They inspire me to be a better person every day.

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