Tantrums

IMG_0504Anger as soon as fed is dead — 

‘Tis starving makes it fat.

                 Emily Dickenson

One day when our first granddaughter was two years old, she did what most  two-year olds do when they don’t get their way.  She had a loud, kicking-and-screaming tantrum right in the middle of a large superstore. Her mother, who is our daughter, responded by calmly leaning down so she could be heard above the din her daughter’s wailing.  She spoke in a quiet and kind voice as she called her name and said, “We’ll be right over there when you’re done.”  Then she walked the few feet over to where her Daddy and I were waiting.  We didn’t have to wait long. Our two-year old quickly tired of the tantrum that was not getting her the results she wanted.  She rejoined us and we continued our shopping.

I can certainly learn from the wisdom of my daughter’s response to this tantrum. She didn’t argue with her child or try to tell her she was being unreasonable; she simply gave her space to allow her feelings to play out.

When my husband seems to be having a struggle with his feelings, I can give him some space to work them out in his own way and time — without my interference or judgment.  In the same way, when I feel like a two-year old having a tantrum, I can give myself some space and refrain from being critical of myself.  It’s even possible that my feelings are trying to tell me something I need to know.  I won’t know this if I don’t allow them to take their course.

I will give space to the feelings of my spouse and myself today. 

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