Potty Training the Loving AdultBy Patricia A'dagata
August 15, 2008
A lighthearted look at the natural development of the loving adult.
POTTY TRAINING THE LOVING ADULT
Often times we tend to take ourselves too seriously, especially when we first undertake the job of learning to be a Loving Adult for out little ones. What I would like to offer is a light hearted look at the natural progression of the development of the Loving Adult. During my early journey into healing a therapist described the process of self-growth in the analogy of potty training a young child. As a parent of two I could relate and was able to modify it to help me understand the progression of the Loving Adult's development.
My life prior to Innerbonding was infancy. During that time I simply responded to the discomfort of life just as an infant responds to a wet or soiled diaper. Unaware that I had any knowledge or forethought that an event was happening that would send me into that zone of discomfort I simply repeated the behaviors that led to the discomfort, distress and victimization. Living only to clean up the mess after it was created.
My introduction to Innerbonding moved me forward to toddlerhood. During the early years I simply became aware of feelings, much as a toddler gains knowledge of new sensations in their body. It takes time, a natural progression before the awareness of emotions (sensations) is associated with the result of a soiled or wet diaper. Similarly, it takes time to gain understanding of the effect that our thought process has on our feelings and the choices and actions that we take. It is during this time that we look at the end result of our decisions and actions (the soiled diaper) and gain a deeper understanding of the signal (emotions, sensations) that got us to the point of the mess.
As the progression continues there comes a shift in consciousness, a time when we become "aware" of the sensations (emotions) in the moment. This is the time in the potty training in which the child is saying, "mommy I have to go potty!" as they are squatting and filling their drawers. For you, it is the time when there is almost an out-of-body experience. A time when you observe yourself doing what you know is going to place you back into the old pattern but you can't quite make the change, a new decision in the moment. Just as the child can't stop what has already been put into motion. This is the time when parents gain superhuman agility. The sensors go up and the moment you hear the child go, "mommy I need..." you fly from remote regions of the house, grab the child in mid squat and place them on the toilet. With luck and no minor mishaps along the way you are successful. Praise abounds and there is a celebration beyond belief. The not so successful attempts are met with, "that's ok we'll get it next time" and life goes on. In an Innerbonding sense this is the time that the Loving Adult is coming on board. Where you look back at the event and look for the signals that you missed and you ask "how could I have done this differently?" With an open heart and mind you will learn how to sense the "mommy I need..." moments in the experience so that you can begin to "catch" the moment for change.
Soon the successes far outnumber the "slips" and then one day it happens, the most beautiful words in the world. "Mommy I went potty." Mid flight over the dog you suddenly realize that your child is standing at the door of the bathroom, pants off and a big grin on their face. You land gracefully and begin to do the happy dance as it sinks in that potty training is completed. For the Innnbonder this is the time when you first find yourself taking loving action or setting a loving boundary in the moment, the time when the child knows and fully experiences the love of the adult that is there for her/him. This is the moment of transformation, a moment when the bond of Loving Adult and Inner Child becomes strengthened and unbreakable.
Any parent though will tell you that the story doesn't end here. That one moment of triumph for the child is often followed by a set back, moments later. Yet the giddiness of success now helps both the child and parent to let go of these minor "oops" and look to the future when diapers are exchanged for big girl/boy pants and the sound of the toilet flushing is a reminder of how attention and dedication brings success. Your toddler has transitioned to a young child and new adventures await. This holds true for the Loving Adult and Inner Child, now bonded in a sense of accomplishment and hope. The adventure of living life fully and completely in charge of your joy, happiness and passion is met with the curiosity and excitement.
Where are you in your potty training? Wherever you are acknowledge your success, have compassion for the "slips and oops" and look forward to the day when the only mess your cleaning up is the one from the celebration of success. Happy potty training one and all!!!!
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The paradox of our wounded self is that it wants to feel safe so it tries in so many ways to control that which it cannot control, which leads to feeling anxious and unsafe. Surrendering to what is and opening to spiritual guidance creates the peace that will never come from trying to control.
By Dr. Margaret Paul