Why My Teenager Is My Greatest Teacher
My oldest daughter was a fighter from the very start. When I was pregnant with her, it was discovered that she had a single umbilical artery that they feared would cause abnormalities. I was told that this could create inadequate oxygen and nutrition. As a result, we should be prepared for anything from pre-term labor, low birth weight, to heart and kidney issues or in very rare cases, still birth. They told me that she may not grow properly in the womb and if she made it full term, she would likely be very tiny, and weight around 2-3 pounds.
Despite the odds, 13 years ago and full term - my 6lb 2 oz baby girl was born! She couldn't tolerate labor very well because of her cord issue, so her heart rate and oxygen kept dropping dangerously low. The doctors told me that for her safety they would have to remove her with forceps which gave her a little black eye. I remember thinking what a tough cookie she was. Oh the irony!
I believe that we choose our parents, and I was just overwhelmed that this beautiful, strong, and determined baby girl chose ME as her Mom. I knew she was here to heal my broken heart, as I was deeply grieving the loss of my own Mom. She communicated with me through her expressive, big, brown, beautiful eyes. They spoke right to my soul. I could not believe how connected I felt to her, or the amount of love that poured from me. My daughter was my teacher from the very start.
My baby girl is now 13 years old and this "tough cookie" part of her has taken on a brand new meaning. Everyone said it would happen, but I naively believed that we would be different. I mean I have a Sociology degree, I teach and coach about human behavior and emotional intelligence for a living. I have a very deep bond and open communication with my girls. I own a Non-Profit Mentoring Program for TWEENS and Teens where we learn how to navigate through these years together. For God's Sake, I am a student in A Course in Miracles, do energy work, and I meditate daily! LOL
None of my preparation was a match for what happened when I first saw her squint her beautiful brown eyes at me as if she was just disgusted by my presence. Then with a disrespectful tone she spewed angry, hurtful words all over my shiny pink bubble.
To have my miracle, who I love so much, shoot daggers at me with her gorgeous eyes, triggered so much emotion in me. I kept hearing my Dad's voice saying that he would never allow his daughter to speak that way. I felt judged (by people that I don't even know and weren't even in the room with us), concerned that someone else would see her act that way and judge her character. I felt a loss of control and thought that I was a failure all at once. Fear took over and told me that this would get bigger if I didn't lash back and match that same angry tone to shut this down.
Like most teenagers, this was not a constant attitude. She continues to be a smart, sweet, talented, funny, helpful and a loving Mama's girl that wants to lay with me in my bed and cuddle. She craves guidance on her insecurities and likes to just have silly fun and laugh. In the next moment from what seemed like the smallest thing, it would again set her off she would unload her stress all over me. Teenagers are a mixture of sweet childhood innocence, swirled with the pressures and uncertainty of maturity and responsibility. It broke my heart and evoked severe frustration.
I began to ask myself what was really bothering me about these unpleasant moments and the tone of voice that she chose to use when she shared them with me. I realized like everything else, it always is about the work that I needed to do on ME first. The reason I was so upset by the way she squinted and talked to me, was that I was craving respect. However, she is simply my mirror. Reflecting back my truth. You can not demand respect, you have to FEEL it within first. I saw that I was trying to gain respect by looking at the outside world and asking my peers, family and society how I was doing. Am I a good Mom, am I saying the right things, setting the right example, disciplining in the right way? The truth is that I had to use my own internal compass and remember to respect myself in order for everyone else to mirror that back.
What my teenager showed me was that after all the years of doing "the work" I still didn't value myself the way that God values me. If I did, I would not be taking her rocky hormones, and adolescent transition so personally. I would see that it was a cry for love, not a signal for battle.
I continue to ask myself why I am so triggered by these uncomfortable moments, and I see that they remind me that I have to consistently work on maintaining my personal value. This is the best example that we can give any child of any age. Self love, self worth, self respect and self care are the foundations of this inner work.
My tough cookie that chose me, did not come here to disrespect me or cause me pain. But she did agree to come here to help me grow and deepen my connection with God. She does this by mirroring back what is going on internally. Everyone has the ability to do this for you. (Although, I secretly believe that teenagers can do it the best ;) ).
Who is the person in your life that pushes your buttons? What are they trying to teach you about yourself? Take the time to look within, it could change everything.
If you desire more self respect, love and value, I obviously understand and would love to share with you the things that I am doing. Reach out to me today for a FREE breakthrough session!
With Visions of LOVE,
www.visionarymentoringgroup.com (subscribe to this Tuesday Testimony blog on the homepage)