Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 35: What to do When You Have a Baby Crying Cry-sis

One of the first points I faced with Cesar that I knew I had to deal with – was reacting to him crying.
In the beginning he didn’t cry much – but the reactions inside myself were obvious, and I knew that this was just going to be the beginning. Because when a baby cries and you react, every second that you hear the baby cry – the reaction just compounds and compounds and compounds – where you either pop to release the energy of the reaction, or where you suppress it to let it come out in other ways later.

I experienced both, where at some point all the crying was getting to me that I just cried with him lol. I first just got angry because I didn’t know what to do and then just felt powerless/helpless at which point I just cried it all out. This was when he cried really intensely for a long time.

Then I remember that he had some short cries, but frequently throughout the day/night. It didn’t hit as ‘hard’ because of the short duration, but it was as if with each cry I was getting ‘buzzed’ – but since it was so short, I didn’t think much of it and “let it go”. Then after a while of on and off crying – I found myself thinking ‘I am not going to check up on you now, I am tired of this’ when he would cry again. And I mean, it was weird because I was finding myself in this weird icky, mean mood when I was thinking this and deciding to just leave him instead of going to him. And then when I check where this was coming from, it was basically from a sense of ‘wanting payback’ like ‘you know what you did to me, now you take that’. And then I asked myself: Seriously? You want this little baby ‘to pay’ for what ‘he did to me’? I mean he didn’t do anything really. He’s uncomfortable – he’s expressing his discomfort in the only way he knows: crying. I am the one reacting to the crying, I am the one generating the experience of negativity in relation to the crying, I am the one creating the sensation that ‘I am tired of this’. He’s not doing anything ‘to me’ – this is just freaking unacceptable. And then I cried, but that was more because of the shame of the monster I had just allowed myself to become than reacting to his cries.

So here I saw how easy it would be to react to a baby crying, where you just suppress what you experience and then later do little mean things to your baby ‘to get back at him’ without you really knowing why you’re doing it. And with ‘mean things’ – I am referring to quite a broad spectrum of ‘meanness’ because for instance not being very considerate when changing his diaper or when you are changing his clothes where you are kind of rushing it to just ‘get it done’ could be one of those little points that are ‘seemingly innocent’ – but where if you trace back the internal steps behind that action, it’s actually coming from a point of payback.

So several nights in a row I applied Self Forgiveness on my reactions. I started with the immediate reactions as the experience that would run through my solar plexus as a form of anxiety and then went into memories of myself where I found myself in situations where crying was present, either me crying or someone else and how other people had responded to this which formed the basis of my ‘opinion’/relationship towards crying and how I would respond/react to it later in life.

The main memory the stood out for me was a memory of me crying on the street next to my mother. She told me to ‘stop it’ and that ‘look, everyone’s watching you!!’. I remember looking around and no-one was really watching me / interested in what was going on with us. What ‘struck’ me the most – quite literally – was my mother’s panic. It was like electric sparks of fear and anxiety within a general sense of ‘not knowing what to do’ that was flickering off of her unto me– and this was now the exact same experience I found myself having when Cesar would cry – and generally the thought pattern that was paired with it was ‘what will other people think of me and him when he’s crying’ and ‘I don’t know what to do’. So I could see how I had effectively internalized that memory, that experience with my mother and used it form an energetic relationship to the point of crying and had become my mother in that aspect.

It’s quite interesting how we find ourselves in these moments, experiencing ourselves a particular way and then believe that ‘this experience is me’, ‘this experience is genuine’ – and not at all question where this experience comes from, but just accept it as ‘this is me’. While all the while, you’re just playing out an experience you picked up somewhere long time ago, where in a single moment you established a link, a connection – without even being aware of it, and then filed it away for future use. And then when the file as the memory and the connection that was established gets used in a ‘suitable setting’ – it’s as if it’s ‘a brand new experience’ that just ‘came out of nowhere’.

Anyway - I would say that the most important point to remember and remind yourself of when you find that you are reacting – that it is you reacting. The baby is not doing anything to you, he’s just communicating with you in the only way he knows: crying. Sure, it’s not pleasant that the baby is crying, and really the person for whom it’s most unpleasant is the baby itself – otherwise he wouldn’t be crying – but by reacting to the baby crying you are only turning an unfortunate situation into something really unpleasant, by your own doing.

And I mean, crying doesn’t have to be ‘a bad thing’ or something that ‘must be avoided at all cost’ or ‘must be remediated ’. Crying can just be a point of physical expression, a nice way to just ‘let it all out’ and way of releasing physical pressure/strain.

If you’re always going to react within a point of negativity towards your baby crying, the baby’s soon going to figure out that crying is ‘disliked’ no matter why you cry, which later in life can become a point of suppression where you’ve now incorporated crying into your morality system and not allow yourself to go there because ‘it’s bad’/’wrong’.

So the simplest and best way to go about it, for your baby and yourself – is to take responsibility for your experience, get a grip on it and direct yourself in those moments that you are reacting to your baby. Just within practicing this one point over and over, each time as your baby cries – you are showing your baby that you are able to change from mind reaction to self-direction here – so that when it does happen that your baby cries out of a point of reaction – now or later when he/she’s older -- you are already showing and teaching him by example that ‘it doesn’t have to be this way’ and that self is actually able to direct oneself in such situations to a point of stability and hereness. But unless you yourself practice this movement of change and direct yourself out of the mind, your baby/child has no reason to stop crying if the crying is coming from a point of reaction, and things will just escalate as your reactions will feed the baby’s reaction and vice versa.

At the same time I would also suggest to be careful and attentive to who you are and how you move yourself in moments where you hear that your baby starts crying, where it is easy to go into an 'alert'-reaction from which you then rush yourself to the baby to quickly pick him up and tend to him. Here if you allow yourself to go into this response-pattern, the baby learns that crying =  parent comes to me quickly -- which can then be integrated as a manipulation technique later on. So instead of suddenly rushing and moving faster, to just take note of the baby crying and move to the baby at the same pace you were already doing things/walking your day, being consistent, stable within yourself -- so that the baby learns that crying does not trigger any particular energetic response pattern in you which gets you to go into 'acceleration' to give the baby attention.

So there is both a negative and positive reaction pattern to be aware of, where you can either respond negatively to your baby where you don't want him to cry, or where you can respond positively by quickly wanting to show your baby some love -- where either of these can have repercussions in how the baby develops and what kind of relationship the baby creates around the point of crying.

The interview below gives some cool insights and perspectives one may not have considered in terms of why babies cry, and is definitely a must if you have a baby yourself or find yourself in the presence of one.

Crying Babies - Perfecting the Human Race - Parenting - Part 35

Why do we tend to react to the sound of babies’ cries?

Why was the sound of babies’ cries not pre-programmed in the Mind and how does this contribute to us reacting to their cries?

How are memories involved with contributing to us reacting to babies’ cries?

How can we assist and support ourselves to remain stable and not react to babies’ cries?

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