Moods are symptoms. Don’t just react. Look under the surface and connect with the other person to solve or even prevent an outburst, tantrum, or other negative behavior.

I talked about this in a previous post, “Pain Is the Root Of Anger, and Why You Should Care” but today I’d like to amplify that by sharing the following post by Rebecca Thompson, M.S., MFT.

Her blog is about parenting, and this post of hers in particular reminded me of when my son was a toddler and he would routinely become annoying, fussy, and troublesome when he was tired. It was an irritating distraction for work-at-home parents. Of course the instantaneous reactionary impulse was to be short with him, tell him to stop being that way, even yell at him. But I wanted to love and help him, not hurt him. I found that all I had to do when he started acting badly, was realize that he had been awake for hours, and then pick him up and rock him on my shoulder. He felt the loving connection and quickly fell asleep. When he awoke, he was always able to behave much better.

For older kids too big to hold or too old for naps, a hug can be just as refreshing–like rebooting a computer which has clogged up and can’t function right.

For even older people or those you aren’t so personal with, look for a way to give a verbal hug. A kind word, compliment, or some acknowledgement that you are sympathetic.

Meeting and treating on a personal root level works with a person of any age—infant, toddler, teen, adult, and elderly. It can even work with animals.

Read Rebecca’s post: An Alternative View of Tantrums and Emotional Upsets

Or visit her website by clicking this image:





You can say you are walking up a mountain, and if you sometimes (or oft-times) stumble, your statement is still truth—if it is your intention to walk up the mountain, and if you are applying yourself to it with what ability you have, because you are in fact taking steps toward the top (even if progress is slow). Likewise, if you say you love someone, and sometimes show it but also sometimes mistreat them, your love can be true—if that’s the best you know how to do. But if you have a hiking partner and you intentionally trip repeatedly in order to trick that partner into carrying you, all the while saying that you love them, selfishness and meanness is the reality you are creating; your statement of love is not truth, is not reality.

How would we like it if God said that He loved us, inviting us to heaven, only to laugh upon our arrival saying “Just kidding; get out!”? But that’s sometimes how people treat people—stating love, but not fulfilling the statements; not making love real.

It’s easy sometimes to be lazy, choosing what amuses or comforts ourselves, rather than what is honestly good for everyone. The seeds of love might be in our hearts, but might never have a chance to blossom if we water and eat the fruit of selfishness instead. 

Helpful perspectives:  
1)  Every act that is truly good for others, is also an act of love toward oneself, because true acts of love and kindness benefit everyone in the long run. Selfishness is mediocre because it seems good from one perspective–our own–but is not good for everyone. We all receive better, when we’re willing to give up mediocre.

2)  Why stop at wishing for, or day-dreaming of living in loveliness? We each ensure the presence of goodness when we are the embodiment of it (when we choose continually to let it embody us). And if goodness/loveliness is present, we can all enjoy it and feed off of it.

We need to make real what we really want to be.

Be a blessing.

It’s easier to hand God one’s reins in order to be restrained from selfishness, when one focuses one’s heart and mind’s eye on the benefits—the benefits to others and to oneself.

© 2012 NPM