When I was starting my positive parenting path over 10 years ago it coincided with my discovery of the teachings of Abraham Hicks… and the the concept of taking your hand off the hot stove really transformed my way of thinking.
When I first was introduced to the work of Abe and Esther, my husband and I ordered a CD of theirs (yeah… remember ordering CDs?). We listened to it so often that I can still hear some of it word for word in my head….
“We just want to encourage you to take your hand off the stove. But you say ‘ I can’t. My mother put her hand on the stove, her mother put her on the stove… it’s just what we do. The day I was born they told me to put my hand on the stove.” And we say, try it. And you sigh and say ‘it is sweet relief to take my hand off the stove. But who am I to take my hand off, when even my government and world has their hands on the stove?’ we say, put your hand back on the stove if you want to, but now you know that you have the choice.”
What’s the stove? Pressure. Struggle. Stress. The perception that life has to be hard, that success has to be achieved, that we have to push to get what we want.
That parenting has to be a painful journey with a lot of heartache… and our children will end up rebelling against us. That we have to control them, or cajole them to be the people we want them to be. (blech!)
We can take our hands off that stove of struggle, of pain.
What I love about this image is the actual relief it sparks within me. I imagine having my hand in pain and then just lifting it off. I don’t need to pry it with all my might. I don’t need to push. I just need to remember that I have what it takes to just lift my hand out of the fire. I have what it takes to breathe deep and be. But I still forget. I still put it right back on there
What Abraham forgets to mention, is that as physical people, we also have neural pathways that pull us back into our old patterns. Each morning, as if on cue, we will get out of bed and put our hands back on that stove, unless we put some tools in place to remind ourselves that each day can be different. We can make a different choice.
Yesterday I posted a video in the group about how complaining literally becomes part of us and how gratitude (appreciation) breaks the pathways of negative perspective.
But it does take that choice of lifting our hands off of the high pressure world, in fact, making that choice each day, is really all it takes.
I remember when I was in theatre school, I would sit listening to what the teacher would tell us our project was or what was expected from us. I remember thinking “nah… I can’t even imagine myself doing that.” And then within a few weeks I’d be doing stage-fighting, or climbing 20ft scaffolding, or reciting some long piece of Shakespeare prose. I soon learned that it was just about jumping in and not pushing against it, and taking the step by step path before me. I’d get there in the end.
This reminds me of the concept of “headlights”… that when you drive at night you can only see a few feet in front of you with the help of your headlights, and yet you always end up at your destination. This is so true in life…
Sometimes, the only step that’s clear is to take your hand off of the hot stove.
This is such a valuable perspective for the end of the year, when we can just find that relief, even if everything around us is busy. Focus on headlights, focus on love, light and relief. You’ll get there in the end.