I have been feeling under the weather for the last couple of days and have been observing how it affects me to feel this way. There is nothing like being sick with a cold that brings out the inner child in us. It makes us feel miserable, vulnerable and slightly overwhelmed.
When my girlfriend called me and asked in her ‘mommy voice,’ “How are you, sweetheart?” and responded to me feeling sorry for myself with “my poor sweetie,” I could have cried, not in a bad way, but because she made me feel so loved. Just talking to her made me feel a bit better.
Not feeling well always reminds me of being sick as a child and makes me miss my mom a bit. For a day or two—or however long it took—all pressures and obligations were gone. Nobody wanted anything or expected anything. It was the perfect state of being, feeling and taking it slow. My mom would run out for me and get me what I needed: reading material and other little treats. She would cook me “feel better” food and make me hot milk with honey. Everything she did said “I care about you and how you feel”.
Wouldn’t it be so fabulous to always be mothered a bit when we are not feeling well? What if somebody did all the housework, shopping, cooking and gave us all the love and attention we need? It IS fabulous when we can relax into knowing that our needs matter.
I have heard women joke many times—and I have joined in on occasion—that their husbands turn into little babies when they are sick. Often there is a bit of annoyance and judgment underneath those jokes. I also wonder if those comments originate from the deep desire to let our own little girl come out when we are feeling sick.
I had a boyfriend many years ago who would respond to me being sick with “Sorry you are not feeling well. I will see you next weekend.” His only concern was that he didn’t want to get sick himself. Back then, I didn’t know I deserved better. Sometimes relationships teach us what we want, sometimes what we don’t want, or both. Since then one of the most important measures for every relationship I have had has been whether I can be sick and needy when I am with this person.
In a conscious partnership, both individuals are aware of their own inner children and the needs those children have. Both partners communicate those needs openly and make requests based on their feelings and needs. In order to give AND receive, we need to have certain subconscious beliefs in place. Beliefs that we always have to be tough and independent and cannot ask for help or love do not serve us. In order to give ourselves permission to receive, we need to feel that our needs matter, that we deserve to be taken care of, we deserve to rest and we deserve to ask for help.
Obviously, that mothering goes both ways. Maybe next time, when our partner turns into a little baby because he is feeling under the weather, we can give him love and attention without annoyance or sarcasm. If I judge him for reacting this way, it is because I am most likely not allowing myself to be in that vulnerable place when I deep-down really long to be taken care of as well.
Another limiting belief I often hear is that men are just not capable of taking care of others, at least not as well as we women are. They ARE capable! We need to allow them to step into that energy of taking care of others and they will do just fine. Just as we learned to mother others—it wasn’t a gift we were born with—they can learn to do the same. What they are not though, are mind-readers. We need to communicate how we feel and request what we need.
When we let go of our beliefs that we are just better care-takers, the benefits for us are that we can relax into that place of the little girl who just needs some TLC to feel better again soon. Nothing heals faster than Tender Loving Care.
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Angelika, 905-286-9466, firstname.lastname@example.org