Seeing faces in managing our states

Karina Schreurs
Karina Schreurs, May 25 2019, 3 minute readKarina has a cross cultural background working with families through her roles in health and education. Training in Occupational Therapy and post-graduate study in the Neuro-Sequential Model of Therapeutics, Cognition and Sensory Processing, position her to present neurological understanding in an easy, relevant and practical way.

Today on my run, my heart hurt more than my body. And if you know me it is a bit of a miracle considering I am training for my first half marathon in a few weeks so it wasn’t a short run. If nothing else the experience has inspired me to write about the value of faces and learning to see the look on another’s face to recognise our state. The first three instances were all parents and their frustration and anger was aimed at their children. The first parent decided to leave their child behind, they stormed off because their child was being “non-compliant” and in some ways this can look like good parenting because we are not giving in to the demands of the child unless we see it wasn’t a demand in the first place. It was a child experiencing emotion they didn’t have the skill or ability to manage and so our abandonment in those moments reinforces in a child’s head, I am not worthy of your time, help and adults let me down. It doesn’t take many of these situations to leave a child feeling alone and fighting for themselves. This state is a reflection of the parents state but it destroys the very core of who a child is. A parent who is managing themselves may have responded by I am going to give you a couple of minutes to breathe and let me know if I can help you.

The second parent suddenly realised that one of her children was missing. In her panic and anxiety, she turned it onto her other child who was not much over 5 years of age. She is screaming at him and when he doesn’t respond (which most wouldn’t when a parent is in that state of fear because it paralyses their brain) her language becomes even more intense. Isn’t is crazy how blame takes away our responsibility and power. It becomes someone else’s fault and all attention is on the mess they have just caused. I dream of a community of adults who recognise that in that moment, they are scared and own that and reach out for help. Imagine how different things would look if we had some self-awareness to understand our own state and share that rather than react and hurt those we are given to protect.

The last incident happened in a shop, where a customer was demanding a cash refund with no receipt. The young shop assistant was shaking and so close to tears as he swore and abused her verbally.

All these incidences today made me realise one thing. We have lost the value of the face, we have forgotten to really look into one another and see the impact our behaviour is having and use this as a guide. Each one of us is so worthy of love, support and a community that can look at our faces and see how we are doing. My thoughts as I write this is I want to become someone who really sees faces and that my life would light up another’s brain in all the places that communicate worth, acceptance and love.

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