I sat across the table and watched her make a face as she slumped her shoulders and slurped her soup and I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t just say, “I’d like to have it.” She asked him several times, “Do you want that last hot dog,” and he responded with, “I’m not sure.” I couldn’t figure out after 40+ years of marriage why she would not speak up and say something. He always understands. He would give her anything she desired. And yet she sat slumped over her soup bowl, head hanging and glared at me while mouthing, “Keep your mouth shut.”

This feeling of sadness used to wash over me in these moments at the dinner table. I could see so clearly what was happening. I wondered why even though he would do anything for her, she wouldn’t do anything for herself. She created this pattern of sadness for herself and if he ate that damn hot dog she would get mad and resentful. It’s just a f&cking hot dog but there’s a larger thing happening here. I could see it…I could always see it.

She always puts herself last.

It’s not healthy…though she has taught herself it’s selfless. It’s not selfless….it’s selfish. Know why? Because then the anger you feel when you aren’t getting what you desire gets projected onto innocent bystanders and they end up confused. They end up angry too. They end up sad too. This is how it spreads.

You deserve your love.

I used to speak up for her. I took it upon myself. I couldn’t help it. How do you sit and watch someone not being able to mutter a word when they want something. She always attacked me for doing it. She’d tell me to stop or shut up. I knew minding my business was hard but I felt all this pain in her so deeply. I couldn’t sit and watch this and not try. So for many years I tried. And for many years my trying for her created another pattern of her being mad at me…when really she was mad at herself for not doing what I was trying to do for her.

[tweetthis]Love yourself. Choose for you.[/tweetthis]

Love yourself I always tell her. Choose for you. You’ll see how much better you feel if you do something as simple as saying you want the last hot dog. Speak up. Have a voice. Tell your truth. If you’re hungry, say you’re hungry. Do you know how sad it makes me to see someone not even be able to say, “I want that.” I want to cry as I type this. I’m sensitive to this stuff…it hurts my core. It’s not a normal hurt…I feel their pain and I feel my own pain from the reaction of witnessing it. That’s a lot of pain to handle.

But I’ve learned from the witnessing. I’ve learned that I can’t force others to grow and heal.

Parents: Your children learn by watching. Please remember this. They don’t learn much from what you speak…it’s more how you act. You lead by example. Let me tell you how important it is to just live your authentic truth and let them witness the love flowing to you and through you. Speaking words…all the right words…the perfect words to your children is not going to help them as they grow.

Love yourself.

Know why? Because it’s your energy that teaches them. You can say anything but if you’re doing the opposite that’s a mixed vibration. They won’t respond to the words, they will respond to the actions. They need to align.

So the very best thing you could ever do for your child is to love yourself. It won’t ever matter how much you love, cherish and adore them if you don’t love you. If you love you they will know what love is. If you love you they will know what valuing themselves feels like. If you love you they will know how worthy they are of love too.

[tweetthis]Your words don’t matter.[/tweetthis]

And my words didn’t matter. This time I didn’t speak for her because I learned that my words don’t matter. I grumbled a little out of frustration but left the room without anger or an argument because all my years of witnessing taught me it isn’t my battle. It’s her internal battle. When she wants to love herself, she will. It’s a choice.

Choosing different than what you’re used to can feel strange or hard or confusing but the impact is far greater than you could imagine. When you finally choose for you. When you finally speak for you. When you finally say to yourself, “I love you” – well dolls….the entire world shows up and shouts, “I love you too!”

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