I am taking an online class on Parenting and The Work. It is wonderful to be a student! I get to spend 6 weeks distilling the constant judgements I have on my kids onto paper, and then sit with these thoughts and do The Work.
When my son gets upset he has a pattern of clamming up into a tight ball of lock down. When this happens to him he sits all squeezed up on the couch, or in bed, and does not move or talk. This has distressed me to no end in the past. My usual reaction has been to try to sit with him and see if he will open up. This tactic sounds ok, but the state of my inner body at times like this is intense turmoil. I get all balled up too, and develop a frantic need for him to tell me what is wrong, to talk to me, to be ok. There is no doubt that my inner state is broadcast to him loud and clear. As such, until recently we would just sort of wait it out, and eventually the mood would pass through him (and me), but nothing would have been revealed or resolved.
One of the instructors in the online class had the beautiful guidance shown to him by grace to GIVE SILENCE to his own son when he was upset.
GIVE SILENCE. Do you feel the transmission there? Do you feel what the words point to? SILENCE becomes a substance, a nectar, that flows through you. There is a palpable tangibility that is evoked by the words GIVE SILENCE, and that material begins to flow through you and into the other.
I immediately understood the instructor's revelation, and took it for my own. The next time my son became upset in this particular way I began to GIVE SILENCE. I just laid there next to him with my hand on his shoulder and gave silence. Peace filled my inner body and the substance flowed out, healing us. We sat like that for maybe 5 minutes.
Quite suddenly there was a blossoming. It was as if I got to watch my son swell and blossom into expression, and words and emotion poured out of his mouth, freed. He told me all of what was troubling him, and it was heartbreakingly sweet. He had been sneaking his iPad onto the school bus and playing violent video games. He couldn't bear the secret of it, and it all came out.
This blossoming and unfolding had never happened before, and he has had this tight balled up pattern for 5 or 6 years. A week later he got upset like this again, and again I gave SILENCE. Again he blossomed forth after about 5 minutes, and he told me everything that was bothering him.
In both of these instances there was full resolve, and a light, clear energy pervaded afterwards. The difference between my method in the past and this new method is that instead of wanting him to be calm and ok, I cultivate the calm and peace in my own body by invoking the silence. Then I GIVE SILENCE to him, but of course the silence totally fills me as I give it to him. I give it to myself, and then it flows to him. Before I would be frantic inside, unconsciously willing him to be peaceful so that I could be ok. That way doesn't work.
How could you GIVE SILENCE? Maybe you can start by giving the trees outside of the window silence. Maybe you can give the tightness in your throat silence. Maybe you can give silence to your painful thoughts and emotions.
This is a non-conceptual exercise. The SILENCE that comes through is a felt substance. This SILENCE that I point to is not a concept in the mind. It is here, real, it does not need your mind to conjure it up. Sit and wait until you feel it, and then give it away. It is a blessing.