What My Power Struggle with My Teenager Showed Me About Me


I’ve always prided myself on the household I co-create with my son, now an early teen. We have a fun-loving, open door, open-minded, candid and “no holds barred” policy, especially when it comes to curiosity, questions, difficult subject matter or expressing what’s on our mind and hearts.

As is natural in our evolution as humans, he of course, is testing his limits, boundaries, identifying his sense of self, creating clarity for himself, feeling his way, learning about who he truly is and what feels best to him, etc. I always celebrate this about him and all of us, and recognize that this particular set of years in our personal development presents lots of extra hormonal influences that just add to the mix. Most parents chalk the bulk of teen angst and blame poor behavior on puberty.

Knowing what I know about life, creation, feelings and experiential feedback, I was asking the questions to myself about him, “Why does this feel like such a power struggle? Is this what most parents and children feel?” As I sat with this for days, I really felt into how bad it felt. I don’t like, enjoy, or stay in feeling bad for long. I know it’s merely my internal feedback mechanism/guidance giving me information for clarification and clean up with my inner guidance.

It wasn’t until I found, identified and addressed my own internal power struggle with myself that I was able to shift it with my son. And it wasn’t even a conversation or set of them, that shifted it between the two of us. It took me shifting my focus from asking myself questions about him to me asking questions about me. Subtle, yet profoundly powerful. And as a result of my clarity and clean-up, it all changed overnight. Literally.

You see, as much as we may hear this, “know this”, read about it, study it, etc., many of us don’t actually deeply understand, comprehend and live by the truth that everything that is going on inside of us is being broadcast outside of ourselves, then attracting what matches it, every single time – without fail. (The Law of Attraction) Whatever is showing up in our outer world, is as a direct result of our inner world. EVERYTHING.

Think of your “broadcasting” and attraction like this: If you’ve ever been to a movie theater, you know that what you’re seeing on the big screen in front of you is being projected there from the back of the theater from a machine called a projector that takes the “story” that’s on the film and expands it out onto the screen in front of you. It’s a visual and an audio broadcast of the story being told from the inside.

Now imagine your own inner landscape, emotions, feelings, beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, etc. that make up everything about you as being housed in a projector within you. Whether you intend to, or cognitively know it or not, you are ALWAYS broadcasting signals and stories - from the inside. And when that projector is broadcasting (it’s never not), the universe is always matching the signals and responding with them in your experience. It’s actually one of the most beautiful, powerful and simple feedback mechanisms I know of.

When you can recognize and understand this, and truly begin to live by it, you can always know “where you are” by a) how you feel and b) observing what’s showing up in your day-to-day experiences. Where most of us get caught up is not easily or effortlessly being able to shift things to attract more positive, good feeling experiences, people, things, etc. because we aren’t aware of what’s actually broadcasting, or from where it is in the deeper part of ourselves. That was the case with my internal power struggle.

As I sat with my original feeling of not liking how it felt with my son and our external, daily power struggles, I got still and I got really quiet.

I focused on the words that just kept showing up for me: power struggle. I imagined the words being like a ball of light. I noticed the sensations in my body. I just followed and asked, “What are you? What do you want me to know? Do you have anything you want to say?”

It was like having a conversation with another person. As soon as I asked a question, I’d get a response and then it would shift. I just kept repeating the process. Ask, response, ask, response, repeat. I followed the trail like a shiny light in a pitch-black forest. With each round, my sense of lightness returned and the sense of burden and difficulty lifted. As I got to a point that I recognized would benefit from an outsider’s questions and perspective, I enlisted a fellow industry professional and dear friend to facilitate me the final way. (Some things or subjects do benefit from external facilitation and recognizing when that time is, is important and empowering.)

As my friend spent about an hour with me by phone, half way through that conversation as we just followed the trail of light, I found the origin of my power struggle. I found where it all began. I saw where it had all been put into place and into motion, and how it had created every projection throughout my life, unknowingly to me at the time. When the words came tumbling out of my mouth, that was the moment I freed myself from the power struggle - at last and for good. I literally felt the weight lift off my shoulders and the pit in my stomach dissipate.

[This entire process above is something that I recommend you seek a professional’s assistance with, as I am a trained, certified and practiced coach, so I do this for myself. Until you have a clearer comprehension and understanding, it may just cause more frustration. Allow yourself the ease to seek support. It’s an investment in you and your peace of mind, as well as quality of life. I’m available to speak to about possible coaching, or I can refer you to someone who might be a better fit. A great fit is paramount.

As I knew the power struggle was gone within me because I felt good, clear, free, light, unburdened, out of anxiousness, etc., I understood the true test would be in how my outer world showed itself, aka, my son’s response to me and our interactions.

The next morning when we greeted one another, there was a level of peace, calmness and openness that I hadn’t felt between us in a very long time. We were able to actually talk with, rather than at one another, and the questions, the banter and the laughter had returned. It was actually delightful. It finally felt really good. And that’s always my indicator of whether I’m “on or off” track with me, myself and I.

Much time has passed and every day has been more of the same. Open, candid and curious conversations have resumed. Battling of wills has disappeared and appreciation and helpfulness has taken its place. Desire to be kind and receive kindness is at the forefront. It’s truly a peaceful and enjoyable place to live again. And what I know is that had I not cleaned up my inner landscape, allowing the broadcast to be different, then my son couldn’t have matched me. It’s the law. Like attracts like. Without fail – every single time.

Other parents often ask me how I have such a fun-loving, peaceful and enjoyable home life with a teenager and my response is always the same, "I get out what I put in, and it's always an inside job first." May you know, experience and have this be your reality too.

Rhonda Burns is a Relationship & Intimacy Coach, specializing in conscious communication practices to help cultivate confidence, competence and courage, for soul-satisfying connection - in AND out of the bedroom. Rhonda invites you to book a complimentary discovery session today.

You can contact Rhonda now: rhonda@rhonda-burns.com.

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