As parents or someone who is constantly with children, we know how much life changes when children become a part of our lives. It is safe to say that we also recognize how different each child is, some more noticeable than others.
I have two daughters. The oldest is like me in more observable ways and the youngest in those not so visible ways. Between the two of them, if they were glued together, in the words of Austin Powers, you would have a “mini me.” The “two” become “one”.
Now, as a parent or simply an adult who has been around children a lot and one who just loves children, can we safely assume that you love all of your children, but each child’s precocious ways draws your attention more than the other, just because it is what it is.
Is there one child who is say louder than the other and always manages to get your attention. Or perhaps another child who has a certain twinkle in her eye that just draws you in so that s/he immediately gets your attention.
As a parent or anyone who loves all children, I think it is fair to say that we will (eventually) pay attention and respond to all of our children’s demands. No one will go unheard.
Treat Thoughts & Emotions Like Our Children
When I am trying to settle into meditation or prayer, or sometimes simply just concentrate on doing or reading something, “Bam!” My mind goes flying off in 60 different directions with thoughts about something that needs to get done, etc., or out of the blue I’ll think of something that makes me sad, like the passing of my brother.
During meditation time I am learning to speak with these thoughts and emotions like they are my children; seriously. I acknowledge that what they have to say is important to me and that I will listen to everyone of them, giving each whatever time is needed for them to be heard and feel like I have responded in a loving, healing and helping way.
I point out to them that for now, I need some quiet time, with my “parents” to get some help from them to questions and needs that I may have. I need my parents’ help so that I can then help them in the same way. Just as they need my undivided attention every day, I too need my parents’ undivided attention every day.
So, I visualize the children (thoughts-emotions) skipping off, running, sliding down a water slide; just going off to have fun. I actually feel their happy thoughts. I tell them that I will come and get them as soon as I have finished my time with my parents.
I also ask them to discuss among themselves and agree which one will speak with me first, second, third, etc. I tell them this is important, because just as I had to agree with my brothers and sisters and set aside my time with my parents, so we would all get heard, they need to do that as well. Otherwise (and I smile), “You’ll all be screaming and yelling at me and no one will get heard.”
Sometimes it works better than other times, but if they truly are our children then we know how unpredictable children or adults for that matter, can be, especially when our emotions become involved.