Take a deep breath in.
Let it out slowly.
(Maybe once more for good measure…)
This has been something I’ve been doing with one of my boys lately to help quell his frustration.
I tell him: “Let’s take a deep breath first and then you can use your words to tell me why you are frustrated.”
This week most of my guidance to “take a deep breath” has taken place through a door (mom isolating and all). Honestly, it’s kinda adorable to hear him dramatically breathe in and then push out all his air as quickly as he can.
I could almost see him rolling his eyes at me.
But… it always worked.
After a deep breath or two, his words would come tumbling out over his tears as he explained to me the latest brother spat.
Before the deep breath, his tensed up body had no way to let out the words. They were trapped as if gripped by a tiny unrelenting fist.
After, however, it was like a dam was released. Suddenly, they could flow out, messy and imperfect yet real and vulnerable… a sign of a heart that wants to work it all out.
How often do your words get stuck?
How often does frustration, anger, disappointment, fear trap your words inside of you?
(Or makes them come tumbling out but in a less-than-loving manner?)
I know it happens to me.
More often than I’d like.
I’ve found that every time I ask my son to take a deep breath in and let it all out, I do the same alongside of him.
And it helps me be more patient.
And it helps me respond more lovingly.
So once again now for good measure…
Breath in everything.
And breathe out love.