A big reason why I started the journey of healing, transformation, and thriving in my life, is because I started to see the effects of my not-so-helpful-ways of thinking in my children.

Pay attention to your patterns of thinking and behavior, do you see commonalities between you and your children?

Here is a story

I used to NOT be able to set boundaries. And so naturally, when people around you notice this, they will easily (and sometimes without even having harmful intentions) push your boundaries too far. That’s just human nature.

So, if someone intentionally, or unintentionally, would make hurtful comments or remarks, I used to stay quiet and pretend like it never happened. To the outside world, I was quiet and not bothered. On the inside, I had big feelings. But I had convinced myself that I should just brush off comments like that and not make a “big deal” out of it. Well guess what? I brushed the comments off, but it was affecting me. For days after, I would walk around with feelings of anger and guilt! Why could I not say anything or stand up for myself? My inability to speak up clearly bothered me, but in my mind I had not convinced myself that I needed to change something…

Until one day…

…when we were in a social gathering again, someone made a similar remark to my son. I felt a wave of emotions coming over me. I looked at him and, subhan Allah, in his facial expression, body language, and how he “brushed it off” saw MYSELF! And something just snapped in my brain! Not in a bad way! Something snapped and opened my mind to see the truth! I had never, ever, lectured my kids about this specific behavior. Of letting people get off the hook with their hurtful comments and remarks. Yet, my children took over my exact reaction when in a similar situation. To the extent that I recognized myself even in their body language!!

Turning point

I believe that for every change we bring in our life, there is a climax that you reach, after which you decide to change course. That you are done with a certain way of living! And seeing my sons reaction in that moment was the climax for me.

This was not just an outward behavior, though, that I had passed on to my children. This was a pattern of thinking, which influenced my behavior. It was time to change that pattern! AlhamdullilAllah!

How I changed my way of thinking and in turn my way of behaving was mostly through work on myself in the early mornings, before anyone else was up. Connecting to my Lord, priming my mind, and setting up strategies. All things that would help me throughout my day, when I would be in the situation. More on that though, in a future post, insha Allah! But what I want to share with you today, and I think is the basis for all change, is noticing a pattern.

You don’t need to engage with every comment, remark, or behavior, from people around you. But when you notice a REPEATED pattern… that’s when you need to bring a change.

When you start noticing and then bring the change, your children will follow automatically…without you saying a word to them! Subhan Allah, those are Allah’s powers.  How subtle He(swt) can allow something to happen and how great the impact can be!