“Inside of us is an inner child, a little boy or girl. Sometimes we come from that place of the hurt child and make adult decisions.”
– Danielle Henderson (10:22 – 10:31)
I Have Today
Get out of your way and move towards healing.
When a marriage collapses it’s bloody and horrendous. Danielle Henderson, Founder of Kids Soul Speak, and a single mom, knows the pain all too well. She could barely stand the sight of her ex’s picture in her son’s room. As confusing as the divorce was for her, Danielle realized it was even more debilitating for her son. The realization gave birth to an organization that empowers adolescents to use their voice when life gets tough and encourages parents to listen.
Keeping open space for challenging conversations about love, divorce, and loss isn’t easy. Most parents usually adopt poor behavior and attitude towards their ex, making it nearly impossible for an adolescent to even think of a parent that still holds a chunk of their heart. If you are struggling through a divorce, I understand. That inner child who believed in the magic of love is wounded. The pain is relentless, urging you to lash out and blinding you of the truth. You aren’t the only one suffering! For you and your child’s sake, you need to heal. The best way to begin is by dropping your ego, adopting a selfless attitude, and working towards a place of forgiveness.
“Pull back, let it go, and let it flow. We make ourselves ill and sick, hating and being angry, wanting to harm and do bad to the person that did bad to us .” – Danielle Henderson (21:11 – 21:21)
There are three emotional layers inhibiting you from stepping out of the role as an inner wounded child and into an attentive parent.
Peel back these layers of ego, self-centeredness and accusatory behavior to begin the process of healing.
Drop your ego. When you first open a conversation with your child, give them full permission to correct any bad behavior they see delivered towards your ex. I’m sure this will take some getting used to. But it will keep you in line and remind you of the responsibility you have to model positive behavior and attitude. Encourage your child to use their voice and speak freely and openly. If they desire to contact your ex, commend them on voicing their wants and needs and facilitate a way to make it happen. Remember your past or current relationship with your ex has nothing to do with your child.
Adopt a selfless attitude. Try your child’s shoes on for size, metaphorically speaking of course. How would you feel if your parents were getting a divorce? Or maybe you don’t have to imagine, perhaps you’ve actually lived it? The confusion and pain can prove unbearable to a child. There’s no need for them to process this difficult season alone. As their parent, you should always place their wants and needs above your own. Strive to give your child what’s best for them, even if this means allowing your child to live with your ex for a period of time. Recognize your child comes first.
Find forgiveness. There’s probably a list of should’ve, would’ve, and could’ve trailing behind you. Stop carrying that burden of shame and guilt from the past! It’s time to forgive yourself and let that heavy burden go. Accept and make peace with the fact that you did the best you could to survive. If necessary, ask for forgiveness from your child for any past bad behavior directed towards your ex. Forgiveness doesn’t negate anything that happened in, through, or as a result of your divorce. But forgiveness can promote healing.
“I needed to forgive because I needed to empower my children.”
– Diane Foster (13:44 – 13:49)
Stripping these emotional layers will be uncomfortable. But keep at it! There’s a reason you’re doing this. All the work you put into healing your inner wounded child is not only for your benefit. It’s for your children. They are the lighthouse in the storm and I daresay, the greatest possible outcome of your fallen marriage. Let their light be your bright reason to persevere as you move your focus from the chaos around you on to them.
This week, I challenge you to be brave and initiate a conversation with your child about your divorce. Listen intentionally and strive to meet their needs and wants, even if that includes your ex. Remember, you’re adopting an attitude of humility, selflessness, and forgiveness for the purpose to heal and rebuild your family. The sooner you get out of your way, the sooner you and your child can recover. You have today to begin!
How to get involved
- For more information about working with Diane and to gain access to valuable resources visit dianeforster.com.
- You can contact Diane for coaching information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To learn more about the EED Process discussed on today’s episode, get Diane’s book, I Have Today.
- To learn more about Danielle Henderson and her upcoming book go to www.kidssoulspeak.com.
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