I often say that how we care about others is closer to the kind of emotional care and support that we needed in our lives as children. And the ways that we care about and give ourselves attention around the very same kinds of issues, is much closer to the kind of emotional support that we received when we were small.
Interesting idea, huh?
I believe that most parents and caregivers want to do the very best that they can, it’s just that they often come up short in their attempts to provide for their children’s emotional needs. Especially if that was not something emphasized in their own childhood.
It’s not a judgement, it’s merely a common occurrence, that sadly, for many people, has a long-standing impact on their ability to find satisfaction in their lives and relationships.
Remember: perception is reality.
It doesn’t really matter whether or not a parent wants to show up emotionally for their child; what matters most is whether or not they are open and connected enough to their child to make sure their child feels supported.
So that when their child is not getting what they need, the parent / caregiver is open enough to receiving that feedback and adjusting accordingly.
That’s what matters.
So for those of you who would like to know more about this, I have an experiment that I’d like for you to try that will help you learn more about how it felt to be emotionally supported in your childhood.
Remember, there’s no “right or wrong” way to live an experiment. The whole purpose of an experiment or challenge is to have an experience and learn something about yourself in the process.
For this experiment, here are the steps:
I am tired. Not as in a “I need more sleep” kind of way. I’m tired in a “I’m tired of learning new things” kind of way.
I mean it.
It’s been over one year since the pandemic closed down society “as we knew it” and we’ve been constantly adjusting ever since.
Adjusting to new routines and schedules.
Adjusting to a new way of working.
Adjusting to a new way of “not” working for some who have lost their jobs.
Adjusting to the loss of life.
Adjusting to illness.
Adjusting to the potential threat of illness all the time.
Adjusting to putting life back together after the loss of a loved one.
Adjusting to a new way of connecting with others.
Adjusting to not connecting with others in person.
Adjusting to how to attend to the daily tasks like grocery shopping, putting gas in the car, maintaining a household.
Adjusting to new technology.
Adjusting to new ways to access doctors, health care and therapists.
Adjusting to just about everything as we knew it.
And, honestly, I am tired of learning new things.
I am tired of adjusting, pivoting, troubleshooting, breathing through disappointment and frustration. I’m tired of not feeling the “ease” as I go about my life.
I’m tired of having to think through going out into the world, to determine what’s safest, do I have my mask, will I be able to socially distance?
Questions like, who’s got the vaccine? Who’s got two vaccines? Who does not?
You know, having to be concerned about literal safety all the time. I mean, it’s what all of us are doing all the time, unconsciously, when it comes to our emotions. This alone can be exhausting.
But to have to constantly think about and manage the balance between safety and satisfaction in such a conscious way regarding going out into the world, trying to work, getting my social needs met...I’m tired from doing this 24/7.
I am calling this “learning fatigue”. I’m tired of having to attend to and learn so many new things.
I am ready for routine.
I am ready for “ease” again when it comes to thinking about safety in the day to day kinds of things.
I am ready for finding the groove again, which often motivates curiosity for me and compels me to begin learning new things and often, some new way to “get out of the box.”
Honestly, I am kind of ready to be bored.
I’m tired of living at the edge of my comfort zone when it comes to adjusting life inside and out, in response to the need to socially distance amidst the background of a pandemic.
I understand why we’re doing it and the need to continue to be vigilant for a while longer.
I plan to continue to do so in order to do my part to speed up our recovery as much as I can.
I also need connection for my learning fatigue. And I would imagine that there are others who might benefit from this as well.
Sending each of us lots of love and support as we continue to navigate our way each day.
Stay safe and be well.
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.