She’s Just So Grumpy All The Time!

I remember when I received a call from a young mother, who was desperately reaching out for support. She said, ”I don't think it was an accident that you have come into my life. I really need help with my daughter, she's got so much anxiety building inside her. Maybe it's not anxiety, but she's just so grumpy all the time!"    

I gently asked, "Hearing your inner sense of desperation, I'm wondering if you would be willing to receive some empathy guesses from me?"   

"Yes," she responded, "I'm so desperate I will try anything! It's so hard to parent her!"   

"Oh, feeling so desperate," noticing my tummy contract, I paused for a moment, "I'm wondering if it might be supportive just to drop into your body for a moment and notice any sensations, any sense of where in your body this feeling of desperation reside?"   

After a moment of silence, she answered, "In my stomach."  

"Does it feel tight or hard? Expansive or light?"  

"Tight, and my throat is tight," As she dipped into her bodily sensations the sound of tears filtered her expression,."it's going all the way into my stomach."    

"Oh," I responded softly, "Do you need to be seen for just how hard it feels right now, in this very moment?"  

"Uh-huh." She answered through her tears.   

"And maybe to be seen for how much courage it takes to reach out for a little hope and support - to experientially tap into the sweetness of feeling felt?" I paused a moment before continuing, "I'm wondering what happens in your body as you receive these guesses just now?"   

"Relief!" She exclaimed, "I feel more relaxed and breathing easier now..."   

We all need to experience the relief of being welcomed with warmth, of being received with empathic understanding when we experience the stress of overwhelm in our relationships, especially with our children and/or partners.    

When we create trusted pockets of empathy support for ourselves, we are strengthening our own capacity to authentically express sincere love and kindness in moments of stress - instead of reacting from old patterns of anger, frustration, fear or disappointment. 


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