Acknowledge It Then Surrender It

What are we supposed to do with the frustration (and even anger, which we have all felt as parents if we are being honest) we find ourselves with?  Many of us might have never really felt anger before we became parents.  We might have learned early on in our lives that outright anger is someone else’s right to feel, not ours.  So what do we do with it when we start to feel it?  We don’t have much practice with regulating this part of our emotions.  We’ve learned how to live well without having to deal with it (the anger, that is).  But now we really have no choice.  Raising kids gives us a valuable opportunity to revisit being a kid ourselves and to reflect on what sort of skills we skipped over learning and to get in touch with what we are really feeling deep down and why.  We can’t just do nothing about it (i.e., let frustration and anger run their course) because then we will look and sound no different than our children when they have their meltdowns.  We may still have our meltdowns.  But as grown-ups now, we possess the capacity to catch on quickly to what we’re supposed to do with all of the unpleasant and uncomfortable negative emotions when we have them.  In short, it’s important that we acknowledge it (the negative, uncomfortable emotion) and then surrender it (or release it out of our system, let go of it so that we aren’t hanging on to it and letting it compound).  For so long, we haven’t even been able to feel it (the negative, uncomfortable emotion, whatever it may be), so the fact that we are feeling it now is great progress.  Something good is happening to us.  What we need to focus on learning how to do now is letting it be enough that we can recognize what we are feeling and that we can give it up without making the mistake of thinking that we have to act on it/out of it just because we feel it.  We have a choice about it—we always do.

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