How important and essential is this experience to each and every human being. To be heard, to be understood and to be ackowledged as a worthwhile person.
Perhaps because this is missing from such large areas of my life I spend that extra time thinking about it. And how essential it is. And how the ‘not being heard/acknowedged’ is so central to conflict and suffering.
When I think of my DS and my hopes for his future, I sincerely hope that he has a foundation of being heard and acknowledged for the beautiful sides and for the uglier sides of life. I think this perhaps has some thing to do with how I am choosing to parent my family. To create a foundation of acceptance and listening.
This would fit in with Attachment Parenting philosophy – creating an intense attachment between parent and child and meeting the child’s needs as completely as is possible. I feel this was not really allowed in the way I was brought up. In the community where I was raised it was independence and creativity and idealism that were valued. Meeting a child’s emotional needs was unnecessary and got in the way of the important work of being individuals with vision… or something that was not meeting my needs.
I thought that I would bring my family up with similar values. I after all turned out pretty much OK (social anxiety and not trusting groups aside). In todays world parents are messing their kids up by not feeling like they can say ‘no’ and kids need boundaries. I thought children could only blossom with boundaries from day one. It was essential to not be manipulated by your child. (I cannot believe I actually thought like that). Of course I wanted to have organic food and use environmentally friendly cleaning products and do lots of funky stuff. But I never thought twice about the emotional reality I wanted to create for my children. Until I held my son in my arms.
From the first night where he cried and was not soothed by my lullaby as I rocked his cosleeper and only wanted my breast – I undertook a profound journey that took me very far away from what I thought I knew. It just is not like my parents thought it was – or the nurse or the doctor or the IL’s. My son was telling me he needed me and as a responsible caring adult I could not ignore that.
When my son cries, I listen. I want him to know that his cry is important. Not because I read it somewhere and not because someone told me. But because that is what feels right and for now it is working.
Being a mother has ‘forced’ me to tune into my intuition and act on what my gut is telling me – not what I am reading or hearing. Although hearing things and reading things still can freak me out – I am still new at this. I hope it will get easier.