The Cry For Love From Children
Back in the 80s, I dated and then married a woman with a teenage daughter, putting me in the awkward position of “step dad”. At first, the daughter – we’ll call her Grace – really seemed to like me, and was on her best behavior when I was around. Once we settled, she began acting out–at times violently. We endured some public outbursts that got the police involved, which led us to seek counseling. The counselor emphasized the value of creating structure. Grace had enjoyed quite a bit of freedom after her mother had divorced her biological dad, so when I came into the mix, her anger about that abandonment started surfacing. She started skipping school, hanging out when a dangerous crowd, and just generally was in defiance of any parental authority.
Her thing was to run away, and the counselor made it a requirement for Grace’s mother and me to penalize Grace when she defied our rules or blew school. At first, she raged mightily, but at some point, she realized we weren’t going to let up, and she completely changed her modus operandi. She began getting A’s in school, doing volunteer projects for extra credit, and even got a babysitting job. The counselor made the point that her acting out was a “cry for love”, and when we consistently and persistently enforced structure, she came to feel secure about our commitment to her. I felt that the whole thing was a referendum on how serious I was about being her dad, so apparently I passed the initiation.
SEE ALSO: Trauma And The Power Of The Pen
Chaos and order
These days, in our alarming world of a mass media-fueled pandemic, where those seeking to usurp power mercilessly weaponize our existential fears, it is natural for many of us to get triggered into deep insecurities leading to behaviors we may regret in a desperate attempt to feel good again about life and that there is still love in the world, at least somewhere. Violence of all kinds is an acting out of a demand for unconditional love. The violence acts as an initiation for those from which the unconditional love is demanded. It is a brutal test of compassion for the targets of violence, requiring a high level of self-love and self-assurance, the absence of which is how and why violence spreads.
Being human is largely about bringing order to chaos, and we do that with love. In quantum living we see that bringing order to a small area of chaos causes the remaining field to harmonize. One small act of love ripples out into the world bringing order to a much greater chaos. By allowing ourselves to be triggered by fear and anger, we contribute to the chaotic field. Yet, the moment we noticed we’ve been triggered and choose a loving, compassionate response, we harmonize the immediate field, which then ripples out to greater and greater areas of chaos.
Choosing to love
Experiments done by the HeartMath Institute, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Maharishi University have shown that even a small number of loving meditators can reduce crime and violence significantly, even though they are not in direct contact with that chaos. The relationship between harmony and chaos is logarithmic, so the loving compassion of a few, brings positive effects to the many.
On an individual level, how we respond to our own pains and discomforts determines how dominant that pain is in our lives. If we respond with fear or anger, we’ve contributed to that chaos of pain. If we respond with compassion and self-love, we’ve begun to harmonize and thus heal the sources of that pain. Not only does this transformation to harmony affect our body, it affects our life, and everyone in it, sending ripples of love and compassion out into the entire world.
We are at a pivotal time in human development, where we can choose our responses to hate, violence and hopelessness. By choosing the high road, the road of compassion, empathy and unconditional love, we transform hate into affection, violence into peace, and hopelessness into shining possibilities.
Now, more than ever, it is time to answer that cry for love.
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