At first I was pretty shaken up. Then I realized the theme of both of the dreams- threatening- which is a theme that has been popping up around here with more and more intensity. W has the ability to pick up on what needs to shift, what IS shifting, what *I* need to see and move through so I can be at peace, and then act it out until I "get it". And once I get it and work through it and release, then the behavior either stops on its own, or I am at least in a place where I can better help him work through what he needs to. He has a gift, this boy of mine. The gift of helping me see the messages that I need to see. Because I so often ignore the subtle, gentle signs and need those blinking neon ones that hit me upside the head (sometimes repeatedly!) before I'll pay attention. ;)
I've had clues that the topic lately has been threatening (a new one around here, or newly separated from other things) because that's what has blurted out of my mouth in a knee-jerk type reaction when W starts into acting it out. "Stop threatening your sisters!" has come out of my mouth so many times in the last few weeks! He takes the nerf guns and points them in their faces, swings a foam-noodle sword inches from their heads, growls or cackles like a mad scientist at them so they fear for what he's going to do to them. Thursday we were trying to clean out the van and he would.not.stop. saying things to them that made them scream at him or cry. Things that he said they had to do, or he was going to do things they didn't like. It wasn't until I yelled "What is WRONG with you?!?!?" (something I've sworn to never say!) that it hit me that I needed to look deeper into this. It wasn't just an annoying behavior. It was important and needed my attention, and I needed to look IN me, see where the reaction was coming from, work through it in me. But, when there is conflict between my kids and I'm not sure about their safety, I can't just go hide in my room until I have worked through it, I have to work through it while keeping everyone safe, and if I can manage it, while helping them work through it, too. That day we sword-fought together, we threw soft balls, we ran, we tried to work through it together while I tried to keep my focus on my own internal sensor screen. If I got too overwhelmed with my own feelings and tried to take a break, he would go back to threatening his sisters. I tried things that have worked in the past, when he would be angry and furious for hours and we would have to stay right with him and help move through it. That hasn't happened in over a year, and I had to reach into my memory for what helped. I focused on my own anger, made sure I was releasing it myself while doing this dance with him. This time it felt different, though, and the more I vocalized or stomped or did things that would help release anger in the past, the more he would come at me with the sword or whatever. It hadn't really hit me yet, that what was behind this was not anger like before, but threatening. That day things shifted when I went out to the garage to find a tool to fix his remote control truck that had broken (and he was getting up in L's face and upsetting her because he thought she did it so working through the disappointment just wasn't cutting it because he was using blame to distract him from his own feelings), and when I came back in he was standing at the stove smiling because he had flipped the quesadilla that I was cooking and then put it on the plate when it was done. He had done something that he had never done before and he was really happy about it! So I taught him to make quesadillas himself and the whole day changed, and he was so proud of himself and full of his own power.
Something I saw while I was tapping was this image of this certain amount of power that is needed in order to "get things done". I saw how when someone is in fear, and is motivating another through threats, neither person has much power, all of the power needed to create action comes from the explosive, enormous cloud of the threat. However, when two people are seated strongly in love, in the energy of love, they are filled with power, and often all that is needed is the silent offering of a hand to make things happen.
I am really seeing how huge this threatening thing is, in our homes, the way we interact with our children, with ourselves and each other. Also during tapping I heard "The world is run on threats" and I could feel in my body the truth of that statement. It hit me how when W was threatening his sisters, I would come back with my own threat in an attempt to get him to stop! Giving him "the eye" which says that things will get worse for you if you don't quit what you're doing right now. Telling him that I wouldn't take him to the store if he didn't quit acting that way, or that I would take away his nerf gun (that he spent his own money on, as he pointed out) if he kept threatening people with it- both were an attempt to scare him into stopping what he was doing. I was doing the same thing to him that he was doing to his sisters!
At times, as this pattern has been showing up in our house, when I have asked him why he's doing it, he has responded that he wants them to play with him and threatening them is the only way he thinks can do it! And I see how I feel that *I* have needed the "threat" of something in my life to get things done. Getting going because of the threat of missing what I want to do, cleaning my house because of the threat of someone judging me poorly for the state of my house, brushing my teeth because of threat of cavities or judgement from stinky breath, going to a church that makes me feel farther away from God when I walk out because of the threat of others judging me to be a bad person if I don't go, or because of the threat of hell, doing homework because of the threat of a bad grade, or because of the threat of disapproval from those who are in a position of authority. I tend to wait until the last moment to do things, until I feel the "pressure". Big aha there. I have felt powerless to do anything until there is a threat attached to it.
Is it possible to do these things out of joy and love instead of threats and fear? Is it possible to get going out of excitement for where I'm going, what I'm going to do? Is it possible to clean my house purely out of the joy of having a clean house, the opinions of others notwithstanding? Could I brush my teeth because I love the feeling of clean teeth and enjoy taking care of my body in this way? Could all decisions and actions that I make come from a place of love instead of fear? Can I stop when I feel the pressure from a threat, step out of that cloud, ground myself in love, and then act? Is it possible that I have the power to do things within me, and I don't need the power that comes from the threats that are being pushed on me?
I can also see how I have felt that I have to threaten others in order to get what I want or need. This is so true with children, especially! The feeling that we have to threaten children with things that they don't want in order to get them to do what we want, because children are unruly and will never just go along with what the parent wants! That we as parents are powerless to force our children to do things (because we are! We only truly have power over ourselves! But so many of us don't even realize that we have THAT power!) so we have to rely on the power that comes from threats. That fear and punishment are the only things that will motivate children. Or even with bribes and praise, which can both carry the feeling of a threat that they will be taken away if the child does not continue as expected. Like that both horrible and wonderful feeling of being singled out by a teacher as having done the "right" thing and how other kids should "be like you". Ugh.
What if, when we wanted something to happen, we grounded ourselves in love first? We filled ourselves with the creative power of love, and then we saw the other person as also filled with that amazing power? Maybe sat in awe of the both of us, full of this fantastic unlimited power? And then reached out a strong but gentle hand of connection, and allowed the "doing" to come from there? How different could our lives be? How different could our days and homes and WORLD be, if instead of needing threats and fear to move us throughout our lives, we made the choice to move and do through love and joy?
I think I'd like to find out!