Some nights can be a struggle... or they can be a softly drawn squirmy line in the canvas of childhood memories that feel like pure love and appreciation.
Our son has decided to start waking up at 1 am. He sneaks into our bedroom, crawls into our bed, and "kicks us in the gut and slaps our faces." He's an active sleeper, I guess?
Last week I decided to try something different than just painfully sleeping and waiting for the morning to come and rescue us. I didn't act instantly, though, so the first hour he just had fun with us - meaning that he constantly borrowed my pillow, used my face as his "thigh holder", scraped my nail polish off and combed my hair with his fists. All while fully asleep. Eventually, I helped him nicely and gently back to his room, gave him something to drink and read a book to him. I held his hand as he slowly started to drift back to dreamland... and 2 hours later my back was killing me, I had to use the bathroom or risk peeing in his bed (that would make a funny story) and I was really feeling a lot of resistance to hanging around kiddo's room at 4 am... I was curled up on his bed, wearing nothing but my undies (because I like sleeping light). I got up, sneaked out, used the toilet like a ninja and went back to our big, warm -mmmm I love that warm bed- BED.
2 minutes later I heard kiddo's bedroom door hit the wall, little footsteps coming our way, and yes, there he was, ready to start all over again. He even had the nerve to close our bedroom door behind him, kind of like sealing the deal... "I'm here to stay, mom and dad, so you better get used to it."
So why do I choose to do things slowly? Why don't I just "rip the bandaid right off" and feel a little bad -for a long time- about not being appreciated as a mother and a human being with needs (like uninterrupted sleep), and demand that he grows up and sleeps through the night? Why was I, correction, HOW was I able to keep my cool and stay focused on his (and my) happiness for 3 hours in the middle of the most enjoyable dream phase, while his dad and my wonderful partner slept like a baby in our big, warm, comfy bed... He didn't remember anything in the morning. I love him for tht, too. He just opened his eyes to a wonderful new day and loved seeing the both of us near him as he woke up.
Yeah - HOW do I manage to see the positive side in all of this? Like my husband and our son does ;)
Here's the WHY (the HOW will fill itself in later):
- I love kiddo. He's very close to me. Even genetically ;)
- I love my feelings. I will not choose a bad feeling thought if I'm awake enough to see the difference.
- I love other people and I KNOW that nothing needs to change in them, I simply choose to change my own perception to a more positive one. And I understand that by looking at things and people and moments in a better way I can change the course of my history by having nicer memories. Even though, in this specific example, I did need to keep choosing a nicer and nicer thought every minute. AND I couldn't expect things to happen NOW but I could trust that eventually things will be OK and I will get my rest.
Here's a better picture about HOW I kept my cool and HOW you too can choose better-feeling thoughts unconditionally:
- kiddo keeps kicking me in the face as he sleeps: I love his little feet and turn my back to him for a free massage (I'm not kidding, I do this all the time, he gets to walk all over me in the evening on the living room carpet)
- kiddo keeps stealing my pillow; I love his energy and will to keep building and enhancing his own comfort zone. I have another pillow so we can share.
- kiddo wants to hold my hand until he falls asleep (this can take up to 30 minutes sometimes): I let him hold my hand, it's no the end of the world to have these moments with him and to share his happiness as he drifts off to la-la-land. Anything is possible when you truly love somebody. Besides, it feels good to have him close at this age. This will all end at some point and he'll move out and have his own family. I'm not making him sad or hurt by offering my time to him now. :)
So, do I intend to just keep this up? Keep letting kiddo storm out bedroom every night until he moves out or joins the Navy? No. Of course not. But I will not try to solve this problem by focusing on "my lack of sleep" or "kiddo's lack of rules".
I will, however, solve this PROJECT by focusing on "how good it feels when I get all the rest I need" and "how good it feels to see kiddo wake up and crawl out of his own bed with his cute little toddler hair" (he won't let us cut it, he looks like someTHING out of the 80's, but that's a whole other blog post).
Now this is very important!
Focusing on the POSITIVE even when it's still not here yet, WILL bring it here a lot sooner than focusing on the lack of that which I need to have.
It is MUCH easier to be inspired and joyfully experiment on ideas that come from that good feeling place, than the place of lack and discomfort.
Everything will eventually be OK and kiddo (just like the rest of us) are always on our path. There is never any action that I really NEED to do to change the situation at hand to make it better, forever. Energy is always in motion and therefore I choose to let my action steps come from the positive side of my mind. Any action that comes from pain or hurt or other bad feelings will only emphasize the pain and sorrow that already exists.
Life gives us plenty of contrast every day, and we change for the better as we face those hurdles and sand pits :)
Kiddo is doing everything right and he is teaching me to become better in the process. There, already the perfect reason to love him even more.
What problems could YOU change into projects today?
Do YOU feel a sensation of ease as you take yourself out of the picture and simply ask:"How would this FEEL if it went differently?"
Keep living the good life,