I am a single mom and have been since my son was five. I haven't remarried and I keep my dating life private. So from his point of view, he is my entire world. Now, that's not too far off because I love this boy more than I've ever loved anything in this world and he knows it! But what he hasn't realized yet is that I do have a life when he goes to dad's 😂
We were sitting in carpool this morning waiting our turn when I brought up a trip I was planning. It was for a weekend he was going to dad's but I wanted to leave early to beat Atlanta traffic (don't even get me started on Atlanta traffic). This means that Friday afternoon, when he normally waits for afternoon pickup at home, he'll need to go to a neighbor's house instead. No big deal, right?
Wrong! I was taken by surprise when he told me that wasn't going to work for him. He loved my hugs and kisses goodbye before he left, and I was just gonna need to wait to go out of town until after he left. Now mind you, I'm still working on my coffee and not shooting on all cylinders, and was at a loss for words. Luckily I've learned the importance of the "parenting pause" (where your emotions want to respond but your head tells you to think on it first). And in that moment of silence, my response was given to me in the form of one word - Benevolence.
You see, during my divorce and subsequent legal filings (eye roll) I learned the importance of this word. I used to pray that I got my way. I mean who doesn't? What I found though, is when I was just praying for my needs, I got laser focused on the outcome. Meaning my happiness become contingent on things going my way. Well if any of you have been playing this game of life for any amount of time, you know things aren't always going to go your way. Logically, yes this makes sense, but when you have feelings involved intellect can always fall to the wayside.
So after I felt all the feelings about what I wanted to happen, I learned to pray for benevolence. This is when we want the highest and best good for everyone involved - not just for ourselves. This does two things. First, it acknowledges there is more than just your perspective involved. Second, it breaks your attachment to the outcome. You no longer need to be right. Instead you can choose to be happy.
Back to the carpool line. I explained that we get to feel whatever emotion that comes up, but before we act on those feelings we ask for benevolence. This is when we wish the best outcome for everybody involved. Sometimes that means we have to give a little so that someone else is taken care of too, because even though our feelings are valid, life is not just about us.
I asked him what he thought. He sat there for a minute and said, honestly? I still want you to stay because I'm sad you won't be there. But if I'm thinking about you too, I'd rather you not be in traffic because it makes you sooo cranky! Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Similar Blog Topics: Do As I Say, Not as I Do, Expectations & Emotions, From Setbacks to Setups, Healing Your Inner Child, Are You the Parent of an HSP?