Why do you have to eat blue pancakes? They taste exactly the same as the brown ones?! I don’t have time for this! This is ridiculous! All things I am screaming in my head as my toddler is melting down this morning while I am rushing around to get the boys ready for school. Then I pick him up and walk into the other room. I leave the brown pancakes burning on the stove and hold him, kiss him and cuddle him while his world is a mess and nothing makes sense. Because to him, this is grief. To him the thing that he knows and can control is the color of his pancakes in the morning. Because to him, he expresses desire from the place of constant feeling, where we can feel everything. He doesn’t have layers to strip away yet, they are all there.
I notice in this moment that I have no approval for grief. It is uncomfortable. I don’t have time. It is ridiculous and messy and needs to be shoved down. So I sit with him in his grief and hold him. I don’t fix it, I don’t offer suggestions, I sit in full approval of his grief over his pancakes. And you know what happened? It ran, it flowed and it completed its circuit so that he could then tell me, on his own, exactly what he wanted and how we could make it better together. He didn’t want me to fix it or him, he wanted us to do it together. It was when I tried to do it on my own that things went totally south.
It is uncomfortable to sit in someone else’s grief and not want to fix it. It is even more uncomfortable for me to sit in my own grief and have approval for it.
So today I am going to practice sitting in my grief. I am going to have approval for my grief. When the tears start to fall I am not going to fix it. I am going to let them flow, I am going to let them complete their circuit. Because in the end I will be cleared out and maybe then I will have the clarity to tell someone exactly what I want and we can fix it together.
~the life lessons from a toddler