An overwhelmed, overtired child screams and tantrums on the journey home and in the bath. Finally, much to everyone’s relief, the overwrought, exhausted (and exhausting) little mess falls asleep.
As taxing and embarrassing and infuriating as the behavior is, do we:
- hit the child?
- punish the child?
- remind the child forevermore of how horrible and hateful and wicked they can be?
No, we don’t.
We do none of the above because, as unpleasant and well-nigh unbearable as the tantrums are, we, the adult, know the what, where, why and how of the behavior.
We know what the child’s day has been like, we know where they’ve been overstimulated or overlooked or overextended, we know why they’re feeling so besides themselves, and we’ve witnessed how it all culminated in soggy toddler unrest and riot.
We also know they had little control over how their Big Day with Big Demands unfolded. So we make allowances. We have compassion. We have grit-your-teeth self-control. We have insight. We have love.
Oh, you poor big baby…
I think, likewise, the Upstairs Powers never hold it against us when we get pouty and self-pitying and belligerent and bitter and angry i.e. when we have a Grown-Up Tantrum.
They’re the ‘adults’ who know the what, where, why and how of our lives.
In the midst of a Grown-Up Tantrum we rant privately, shake our fist at the sky, cry, express ourselves by writing, walking, running, or going for a solo drive. We sit in the unhappy, overtired, overwhelmed, exhausted mess we’ve become.
And then we sleep the sleep of the spent. Deeply, unweighted and unencumbered by lead-heavy emotions.
As long as we emerge from the Grown-Up Tantrum feeling lighter and brighter, all is well (if we don’t emerge, medical assistance or professional intervention is required).
Sometimes, well-intentioned advice can feel clinical, cold, and heartless. In that space, at that point in time, we’re not open to reason, to being the biggest and best version of ourselves. We don’t want to cheer up, we don’t want to suppress, we don’t want to focus on manifesting, or getting into a higher vibration.
We’re an overwrought Child in the Big Universe who wants to screech at the sky, keen, wail, purge.
I think it is far, far worse to suppress and pretend, or manufacture a brittle positivity. I feel these are unhealthy coping mechanisms. They impact our well-being on every level. We wonder why we’re sick all the time, tired, depressed, volatile.
One risks having a spectacular meltdown, at a spectacularly inappropriate time, and in a spectacularly inappropriate place, and often without warning. The catalyst, trigger, might be mundane and minor. Those who witness it will believe they’re at an exorcism. So much blackness will emerge, a ‘red demon.’
That is not a Grown-Up Tantrum. That is a Pushed-My-Red-Button Tantrum that explodes like a bomb, doing much emotional and psychological damage to you and others.
It’s the kind of tantrum you may struggle to forgive yourself for, and others will remember you for.
The Upstairs Powers far prefer a Grown-Up Tantrum, I’m sure. It’s easier to remedy.
They take you home, wash the dirt off you, tuck you into bed, kiss your forehead and, as your eyes close and your mouth gapes, they turn to their spirit companion and say, Thank God that’s over!