“If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” is a quote often attributed to Marylin Munroe. However, this quote was around long before she arrived and no source has linked a time, date or place to where she may have uttered the phrase.
That aside, it comes up for me a lot in parenting. A small voice in the back of my head encouraging me to lean in when my child is displaying unenjoyable behaviour. Not to block it out with a snack, a screen or a ‘fix’ of any kind. Offering my pure positive attention and open curiosity. My presence.
Today I got curious about the origins of the quote and delved in and saw with my clients that the mental phrase “I can’t handle (insert unenjoyable behaviour)”
It seems the ‘I can’t handle’ had a different meaning way back when, and that it is about being brought into alignment rather than a standoffish statement or remark intended to admonish another as it is frequently used now.
To say that you ‘can’t handle’ something was to say “I don’t yet know how to bring this aspect into alignment and I am curious how I might go about it”.
What is it like to take on this new understanding of “I can’t handle…”. For me it brings a relaxation and sense of spaciousness and with it opportunity.
In effect we are saying, “I can’t handle this YET” or “I am YET to allocate the resources to addressing this particular issue”.
Can you feel that there is so much more power in that?
As parents we also talk about ‘juggling’ ad nauseum.
We dismiss the act of juggling as though it is an arduous, unenjoyable pass time. And I am not going to argue that it is not but there is a deeper truth to it.
The deeper truth of the ‘juggle’ is that it come s from the root word of jest, means something more like “to talk an epic or heroic tale in a witty or playful way”.
How often do we find ourselves lamenting our role as parents?
How might life be different if we could find ways to speak about it that are uplifting whilst still regaling others, truthfully disclosing the trials and tribulations of the hero’s journey?
I wonder what life might be like if we had the space to truthfully unpack botht the glorious and gory details in a space free from judgement? I wonder what life would be like where the listener would only hold us in our power and see only possibility arising from the rubble? Where there was nothing to fix.
Parenting is indeed a heroic journey and learning to live in a state of constant resolution and course correction is the first step to mastery.
Bringing ourselves back into alignment over and over again as we weave our way towards the vision we hold for ourselves and our families.
Being able to meet everything that comes with playfulness is what organically happens next.
To find out more about how to handle this in amongst the juggle of relationships, work and your own self care, get in touch.
We can arrange a fully complimentary call to find your biggest challenge and the keys to bringing both consistency and flow into your life.