This is the title of a new book for parents. It is the author’s attempt to make humor of the bedtime routine of so many parents and children. The popularity of this book and its outlook on life reflects a societal unconsciousness and a pattern of emotional addiction. Go the F*#k to Sleep is the anti-thesis of mindful living and conscious parenting. It is by all measures a joke on you.
Let’s consider the implications of this paradigm: First, the parents who think or say these thoughts do not know how to manage their emotions. Second, the children who hear and feel these words are learning to hide, transfer, or displace their emotions. Third, a society of victims and addicts who blame others for all things wrong in their lives, because they do not know how to manage their emotions.
Parents – Tired, exhausted, and frustrated at this bedtime routine, the parents look to escape from the emotion. This includes, but not limited to, grabbing a beer, vegging mindlessly in front of a television, eating a heaping bowl of ice cream, endless texting and facebooking, going out with friends, wreckless spending, becoming violent, silent, or any other form of control. If emotions are left unchecked, this becomes a pattern and the creation of an addiction. Addiction is the not knowing how to manage emotions, and hence an addiction is fed with the emotion that triggers the behavior. Anytime one feels the trigger emotion, they will look to the same means of escape. This is how something neutral becomes abused.
Children– Sad, guilty, and unworthy, the children eventually retreat to bed. After the repeated negative comments and interaction with their parents, children begin to believe they are unworthy. They continue to berate themselves and eventually master negative self-talk. Internalized unworthiness is the breeding ground for addiction – overeating, overdrinking, controlling partners, etc. If one considers herself unworthy, she behaves without respect or consideration for herself, and attracts those that treat her unworthy. On the flip side, when one considers himself worthy, he behaves with respect and consideration for himself, and attracts those that treat him worthy.
Society– Addicted and abused, many children, families, generations, and groups look for answers and solutions outside themselves. Feeling cheated and victimized, they want someone or something to fix their self-created problems.
The principles at play:
- Your thoughts become your words, your actions, and ultimately your reality.
- You choose your thoughts and emotions. You choose love or fear at every moment.
- The same thinking that created the problem certainly cannot solve the problem.
- When you are loved and accepted unconditionally, you have self-worth.
- When you have self-worth, you will not abuse.
- When you love yourself, you won’t hurt yourself.
- Self-love is the secret to well-being (for you and your children).
The questions to consider:
What is the “bedtime behavior” asking for? In other words, if “misbehavior” is a call for help, what is your child asking for? Are there other ways to meet the need? More time with you. Your attention. More physical closeness to you. What does the child not want to face in the bedroom? Separation, stillness, worries, darkness?
Saying negative words to yourself and your child will only give you more of the same. These thoughts will be followed by emotions. A parent’s anger and resentment will create a child’s feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness. The parent’s conditional love will create the child’s conditions of love. It is an unconscious web of abuse and addiction. And it can end today.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Dr. Wayne Dyer
You can make a shift in consciousness. You can choose healthy emotions. A new way of thinking, a new perspective, a new paradigm changes your behaviors, which changes the outcome. You can create the bedtime (health, work, relationship, etc.) you want by examining your own interpretation and intention, and choosing to see things differently.
Maybe bedtime is not your issue, and you can use this example to see the role you play in your life and well-being. Maybe your emotional attachment is to an ex-spouse, a controlling partner, a cantankerous neighbor, a defiant employee. How is the way you think about them creating the situation you say you don’t want? What are you going to do about it?
You are at a crossroads and must choose: the path you know – but leads nowhere, or the road less traveled.
The road less traveled is paved with love.
What you think about grows in your heart. The seeds you plant and cultivate are the fruits that grow. If you think “Go the F*#k to Sleep,” you are the victim of your own poverty of thinking.
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