Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Are you a stable bow in the hands of the Archer?

This world in which we live is full of many things. Air, water, flowers, song, and…..oh yeah, WAR. Somewhere on this planet there is a war going on every single day of the year. A bloody, brutally disgusting war. Somebody somewhere is killing his brother right this very minute in the name of what he considers “right”. His perception tells him that HE is right and his brother WRONG. Thus, he must change his brother’s mind, or let him die. Either way, so long as there isn’t someone running around out there doing or thinking what is “wrong”.

It has been said that a peaceful planet begins with one single peaceful home. One home where a child grows up to value other’s perspectives. That child will grow to be a confident man who knows who he is. He won’t feel threatened by differences that come along, because he will be solid in his own confidence. In fact, he loves a new idea or thought or perspective because it challenges him and makes him feel even stronger in the end. What if the whole wide world were full of men like that? Would there be any more war?

It starts with one home. One mother that praises her child. One mother who refuses to say, “Sweetie, that’s a bad choice.” One mother who just embraces her child and meets him where he is, on his level. You can be that mother. Especially to a child with a trauma history. He needs you to smile at him and ask him what he thinks. He wants you to model what you believe is right in a confident, positive way so that he can choose for himself whether or not he agrees. Because, after all, he is his own person, not your property to indoctrinate with your perspective. He has his own perspective and you can honor that.

In the beginning of the book entitled “For All Things a Season” by Bryan Post, there is a poem by a man who was raised to believe that the Creator is the archer, while his mother was merely the tool, the bow, in which the Creator used to fly his arrows.

His poem reads:

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

And he said:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Khalil Gibran

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January 29, 2008 Posted by | A New Paradigm | 3 Comments

The Piece That We Call Love

What a whirlwind of emotions and events. Levels and layers of knowledge and understanding. It has taken me a long, long time to get to where I am today. But as I sit here, proudly, I know at least I’m here. Once and for all. Here I am.

8 years ago a little baby came into my home, during a time in my life’s path when I was not looking for a baby. Let alone a baby full of fear and rage and also, somewhere, love. The latter was hidden beneath a veil, or maybe spread across a rickety suspension bridge. No matter where it was hiding, it was still hiding. I don’t even think the baby could find that piece of himself. That piece that we call love.

It took a long time of being confused….yes, I know I say that a lot, about being confused….but I was. So confused I thought I would go crazy. I honestly didn’t know what to do with this baby. Nobody else did either. He would cry all day, sometimes for up to 8 hours at a time. The pediatrician assured me there was nothing medically wrong. They said it must be emotional. They said to hold him more. Rock him more. Read, sing, talk to him more. But the older he got, the harder it was to talk to him, let alone sing to, rock, or hold him. He wouldn’t look at me directly when I talked to him. He wouldn’t let me pick him up or hug him. I’d say, “I love you, sweetie,” and he would pick up a book and throw it in my face.

Eventually, the crying turned into full blown rages. He would literally rip his bedroom furniture apart, piece by piece and throw it at us down the stairs. He would carve hate messages into the plaster of his walls. If left outside to “play” he would instead injure our pets, make them whimper and whine. My heart was breaking, a little bit more every day.

I sought out professional help. Of course I did. But the “help” we received was insufficient. What I realize now is that the majority of therapists, even so-called AT’s, aren’t trained to HEAL these children, but only to DEAL with their behaviors. It’s like taking cold medicine for a cough. The cough goes away for a few hours, but the phlegm just builds up inside your lungs and eventually it either comes out anyway, or it kills you. I was sick of taking attachment cold medicines. I wanted the cure.

After several attempts at therapy designed to treat RAD, I resorted to self-help methods. I joined an on-line support group. Basically a Yahoo list serve for parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. That group gave me advice that I tried to follow. They said to make him do chores or to have him “strong sit”. But these were just cold medicines. When a friend of mine from that group offered me something else, I was ambivalent, at best. I wanted the cure, but I wasn’t sure this was it.

I don’t know why, but I took it anyway. I began reading and doing yet more research. What I learned was that these kids aren’t motivated by anger, but instead by fear. By fear. Think of that for a while. These kids are motivated by fear. How could I punish that? How could anyone? I couldn’t. For the same reason I couldn’t worship a God who created Hell. It’s just not logical. What point would it serve? I didn’t want my kid to fear me. I wanted him to love me and I wanted that love for me to motivate him to obey me.

When I first went to the Post Institute website I definitely had mixed emotions. Like I said, I was ambivalent. I neither felt excited nor did I feel that it was wrong. I just tried it. And right away it worked. I mean, within the very week we had no more broken furniture or shattered windows. Within a month we had no more tantrums whatsoever. Within 6 months we had a kid who did chores and who wanted to please me. By the next year, we had a boy who came to me at bedtime to hug me and tell me he loved me. The first time that happened, I literally cried. My boy loved me. And he was using me to regulate himself before bed. How beautiful is that?

I would say that things are not perfect. I mean, he will always be a little “off” I think. But we started with a monster. A tiny, freaked out, scared to death, monster. Today we have a boy who is whole. We even found that piece of him.  The piece that we call love.

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments