Guest Blog: When we hate our kids

frustrated-parentThis week’s guest blog is by Kheyala:

“Who, me?”

Right.  Whoever would have the nerve to admit such a thing?  Yet, if we deny our own experience of inner rage or hatred, if we repress it… then guess what?  It comes out anyway.  And it comes out as the unmistakable (especially to our children), hateful undercurrent of whatever we say or do in that moment.  It’s as if we’d told them that we hated them directly, only it’s far more confusing.

Thankfully, there is another way.  It’s called compassion.  For them?  No, not yet.  For us.  You see, the truth is that we don’t ever really hate our kids.  What we are hating is what it’s like to be us in that moment when our children inadvertently step on the inner landmines of our own unfinished business.  What I’m referring to by “unfinished business” is all that subconscious material:  the old wounds, traumas, and other “little lovelies” that our body/minds never forgot but that hadn’t yet had such a magnificent opportunity to reveal and, with enough consciousness, to free.

Herein again lies the beauty of our children.  In being raised with grace, they give us chances every single day to heal what could not have been birthed in any other way.  We get to be for our children essentially what nobody was able to be for us.  Thereby we heal both generations at once.

It’s a marvel to behold, yet it’s certainly no walk for the timid.  It takes great strength and courage to stop perpetuating the incredible emotional and biological momentum from many previous centuries of darkness.

I heard a story once about a Zen master who stops his sword right at the height of its arc, right at the most climactic point of the swing, just one instant before the blade is about to come down and slice through his enemy’s throat.  This is exactly what is required of the awake parent.  “I am Awake!  I will no longer contribute to any kind of suffering!”  And believe me, there is no worse kind of suffering than that which comes from causing harm to our children.  It is indeed a sword that cuts deep in both directions.

So, what causes harm?  You know already what causes harm.  But did you know how much harm we cause by denying what is really real and true for us?  I once wanted to throw my four-year-old through a plate-glass window!  Really.  I wanted to hurl her through it with all of my might.  I was tortured by guilt with this unwanted compulsion until I finally admitted it, along with what I thought was my insanity, to a thoroughly-seasoned mother of four (three of whom were grown).

Do you know what she did?  She laughed!  Here I was, in quiet desperation, telling her my deepest, darkest secret… and she laughed.  In fact, she said, “Yeah.”  That’s one word; one word that told me, “Honey, I have been there and I understand.  And know what else?  It’s NORMAL.”  Oh my gosh, the medicine she gave me in that laugh and that acknowledgment!

Afterwards, with my kids I was no longer afraid of my rage.  It wasn’t being denied anymore, and therefore it didn’t need to build up anymore either.  Once deadset against raising my voice even the slightest bit with them, I could now scream if I wanted to:  “Aaaah!  I feel like I’m going to go crazy!  I’m going to explode!”

Do you know what my kids would do with that?  They’d back off.  They didn’t want me to explode.  And it wasn’t because they were afraid of me either.  It was because they actually loved me.  And they loved themselves.  And I sure loved them for their kindness in backing off also.  Believe it or not, in my commitment to my own radical honesty, we all became closer.

My goal was always to provide a peaceful, safe haven for my children to forever be able to come home to.  There were times when that included a good bit of noise, but still, it was always peaceful and it was always safe.  And they knew it.  Now, THANKS TO GRACE, these kids are free to express what’s alive in them too, without ever causing harm to another living soul.

Have a great week, Kheyala

Writer, Healer, Counselor