I don’t want to…….!!! Every two year old since the beginning of time.
If you have children, know someone who has children or have ever been a child yourself, you have probably heard or said “I don’t want to!!” I don’t want to take a bath; I don’t want to go to bed; I don’t want to eat my vegetables; I don’t want to put my toys away….. The list is endless.
But, what if the “I don’t want to!” is in your own mind? Most folks have some degree of chatter going on in their minds a lot of the time. Sometimes it is helpful to identify that voice or those voices as different characters. I know over the years, I have done a lot of work with my inner child, the critical parent and a variety of other authority figures from teachers at school to the pastor at church to God, Himself. All that work has helped a lot. But now there is a new voice – “I don’t want to.” I don’t want to go to work; I don’t want to work on that project; I don’t want to clean – do laundry – cook – go to bed…..
This has been going on a couple of months. At first, I thought that if I just ignored it, it would go away – that didn’t work. Then I tried to reason with it – that certainly didn’t work! Then I tried acknowledging its feelings – that helped a little but it still didn’t go away. Then, I got this visual image of myself with a two year old sitting on the floor beside me with her arms wrapped around my leg complaining loudly – “I don’t want to!” Again, I tried reasoning, soothing, even ignoring. But it is a little hard to ignore a child attached to your leg that you have to drag everywhere you go! Talk about resistance!! I was at a loss because this didn’t seem like the little Pam I had done so much work with in the past. She was quiet, shy and in desperate need of approval. This child was loud – I mean very loud – and I was exhausted from dragging her around with me everywhere I went!
Then it occurred to me – if I could re-parent quiet, shy little Pam, maybe I could re-parent this child – her opposite, rebellious little Pam. It is a challenge though because some of the things she doesn’t want to do, I don’t want to do either so I end up feeling like I am spinning my wheels. So, I decided to try talking to her about what we want to create in this life now and what it will take to do that. I am working to make her an ally so we can create together instead of struggle against each other. I’ve just started this but it seems to be helping…. update to come!
Do you have a message running on an endless loop in your mind? I can’t – I should – I shouldn’t – it’s too late – I’m too old. Where do you think that message is coming from and what is it trying to teach you?