Wired for Struggle

I just watched this TED talk by Brene Brown and thought it was wonderful. I love the part where she talks about parenting. She says that the point is not to take these perfect babies and keep them perfect. Rather the point is to communicate to them that they are imperfect, they are wired for struggle and they are worthy of love and belonging.

This seems particularly relevant to those of us who parent children who have had trauma, separation or other experiences that told our kids on a very deep level that they are not, in fact, worthy of love and belonging. When Brene used the phrase “wired for struggle, ” I thought it was a perfect definition of my fierce little warrior son, who survived so much and is still often fighting with every inch of his being. I wish there was some way I could communicate to him that he is safe now and he can trust now. But healing is a long and mysterious process.

The best I can do at this point is tell him over and over not that he is adorable and brilliant (true but not helpful), but rather that he is strong and that I’m proud of how hard he tries. And that he is worthy of love and belonging. Maybe in trying to impart this belief to my son, some of it will rub off on me.


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9 thoughts on “Wired for Struggle

  1. Jillian…
    Once again I am moved to tears. Your commitment to motherhood and absolute adoration for Tariku is so touching. What I love about you the most is your ability to see each milestone with him as a profound awareness into your own heart and mind. I always say that there is nothing in this life that will make you stand back and face every insecurity, every self-doubt, or every beautiful piece of what makes us human, like becoming a parent! You are doing a splendid job! I am grateful for your honesty and I love you! xoxo Andrea

  2. Wow! He really is becoming a little man. His appearance is changing so much. There is also nothing more irresistable than conductor overalls….really!!

    Along with strength I also like to add endurance. I know he is young and will have no idea of what this means. I like to remind my kids that it takes endurance to withstand what life deals us, not just strength. I try to remind myself of this as well. Hopefully, if our kids get it, they can teach it back to us some day! 🙂

  3. I wish I had something insightful to say- instead, I’m tired as all heck. It should be noted, however, that I appreciate this post. These thoughts. These insights.

    I am sure, SURE, that we are bound to (at one point or another) appreciate who we are as humans, as mothers, as women, as we teach our boys how incredible their beings are. Bound to.

    Until then, listen to me- I think you are worthy of much love and belonging. No doubt in my mind.

    (formally dandies in the sunshine)

  4. I believe that you are totally on the right track. Speaking of right track I heard that T is train bound for his 3rd bday party! So wish we could be there!

  5. I was about to start a blog post at my grannynanny.posterous.com blog with this same title after I saw Brene Brown’s TED talk for the third time. I googled the phrase just to see if anyone else had already covered this topic, and having read this lovely post, I will link to it when describing my dreams for my grandson. So much like yours.

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