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Why do we nag...when we really want to connect?

I woke my daughter up at 6am in the morning as usual. Immediately, I saw her phone by her bed, not out in the kitchen where it was supposed to be. I nagged her about it before she was even awake. My thoughts were all focused around her cell phone overuse, my fears of her not being present to her actual life. I was so busy being reactive; I didn’t see her.

I asked her if she had spoken to the school about her parking ticket yet? What she was going to do for a work out after school? Then I was questioning the concert she was going to, and would she get enough sleep? When was she going to help around the house more to earn extra money?

When I look now in hindsight, I can see what a horrible nag I was being. She's old enough to not need me to remind her of everything. Luckily, I realized what I was doing before it was too late and she had left for the day.

I stopped and walked into the bathroom to breathe several times, slowly. I realized my fears had taken over. I was in my Tilly-the-Task-Master Persona ranting one ‘You should...’ after another. It was overwhelming our relationship.

I used my 5 Steps to Connect practices and stepped back, did some self care and owned my part: my stories of fear were driving me. I got out of a threatened state. I stepped away from my tunnel vision of what she wasn’t doing, my judgment of what was ‘wrong’. Only then could I see the whole of her.

Now that I was more centered and not in a 'fight' reaction, I could expand my view to remember she was doing great in her school work, holding down a job, spending time with her friends and even remembering to get a gift for her sister. I realized this was my stuff, old patterns of thinking I needed to do well (be ‘good’ and ‘together’) to be loved and accepted. I was projecting this on to her.

But it wasn’t about her at all.