think it's interesting how often we can watch behavior in others and then proceed to have judgement about how they're behaving. Particularly in children. WE are the grown ups, the intelligent, the know it alls, after all. I find more and more that I can learn incredible things about myself and continue my own growth through watching how I respond to others' actions, words, and behaviors. I especially pay attention to these things if they bother me, cause any emotions, or have me dwelling mentally on the incident. I know there's a lesson there for me.
I especially enjoy watching young children and what can be learned through this. Why? Children are so open and honest with everything inside of them . They know what they want and they don't try to hide it or sugar coat it. And they want it with a passion, sometimes to the point of temper tantrum if they don't get what they want so dearly in that minute. We all start this way. We know just what we want, and nothing matters but to get it. It is an entirely passion driven existence at this age. When you're done learning all you can from that item, it has served it's purpose you move on to something else.
What was especially interesting to me thinking on this was how we lose this sense of passion. We become "refined" (note my upheld pinky as I speak) out of such behavior. Here's what I learned through comparing this childish vs adult behavior.
So many clients have come to me in their 30s and 40s and they are struggling with their very existence. They don't know who they are. They don't know what they want. Been there? See, because such behavior as tantrums is "childish" and socially unacceptable, we quickly learn to move out of it. However, we also move out of the permission we gave ourselves to want what we want. Does one have to go along with the other? Obviously, we don't want to tantrum to get what we want, BUT AT LEAST WE KNEW WHAT WE WANTED! After years of denying ourselves the knowledge of what we want, that's exactly what ends up happening....we have know clue what we want. The funny thing is then we resort to some really childish passive aggressive idiosyncracies simply because we are frustrated that we don't have what we want and only feel the frustration of it. This frustration comes out as frustration with life in general, with our spouses, our families, our jobs and yet we have no idea what's causing it. We assume it is said spouse, job, or family member, when really it is simply a "forgetting" of who we are and what we wanted that made us happy.
So here it is. The first step to regaining your happiness is: TO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. This doesn't have to mean that you will automatically get it or even work to take steps to getting it, but you are allowing yourself to KNOW what you want. This knowledge will become clearer and clearer with every allowance to the point where you truly feel like you know just what you want to experience and achieve in this life, at which point you will feel strongly and passionately going after it.
This was just the case when I was talking to a client the other day. A client who has a struggle, like many, about her purpose and feeling fulfilled in her career. She simply feels that missing hole and so I took her back to all of the places in her life where she feels unfulfilled, trying to get back to some of the true heart connections that leave her feeling lacking and separate from herself. She, without wanting to admit it, or always having an "understanding excuse" to go along with it, wants another baby, however denies it out of respect for her husband who doesn't.
This is classic behavior of martyrdom. Why is his desire greater than hers? Why does his value exceed hers? Why has she not given herself permission to see herself and her wants as equal to his? And where else in her life has she applied these same concepts? At work has she deemed herself less valuable and thereby received less? Less wage, benefits, promotions, etc? Where is she cutting herself short?
Now, this doesn't mean she has to HAVE A BABY, or even push her desire. Simply making the acknowledgement of what she TRULY WANTS is enough. It's the simple act of respecting and honoring yourself and your soul enough to let it know itself inside and out.
Once you have these allowances and awarenesses enough, knowing who you are and what you want isn't so tough. So go ahead. Give yourself permission. What is it you truly want but dare not tell anyone? What have you been hiding from even yourself? What excuses and reasons do you have?
Learning from that tantruming toddler could highly benefit you. He knows what he wants. With a passion! We can encourage this knowledge without encouraging the behavior. We can see how valuable it is to first GIVE PERMISSION to want, and THEN decide if it is reasonable and useful to attain it.