Would you like to translate this into another language?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Being Honest with Yourself: A Little Post About Growing Up (coming from me--haha. yah.)

If you read the title of yesterday's post, you'll know why I'm laughing as I write this one.

My kids don't walk on water. They have their strengths and their weaknesses like all of us human beings, but they're good kids nonetheless, and I'm glad they're mine. They are my biggest challenge as well as my biggest blessing. Isn't that how it usually works in life?

It's interesting how often dealing with  my children helps me understand how to deal with issues in my own life. As I help my kids grow up, maybe I'm maturing a bit myself--scary, I know.

Last night, I was working on an article for the company I work for (I LOVE this job), and I could hear the Warden and one of our children talking downstairs. I knew what they're talking about and knew that I needed to be in on the conversation, so I headed downstairs to join in.

One thing I've learned recently is that the one of the only things that gets my kids riled is if we confront them on something they're guilty of. I mean, if you look at this as a rational adult, the same holds true for grown ups . If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing and someone accuses you of something you're not doing, there's no reason for a freak out. Am I right? All you do is say, "No. I didn't do that" or some such similar thing, and the discussion is over. If you're guilty of it and either sad or embarrassed at being found out, you'll fight against the accuser, am I right? It just seems to be human nature.

So, during this conversation, two points came up. One was being "above reproach," and the other was being honest with oneself.  As we were talking about them, I came to the realization that these two principles are vital to becoming a responsible adult.

I don't mean to question your intelligence  by defining this, but my kids didn't know what it meant, so here you go.....When one is above reproach, it means that (s)he is trying to be completely trustworthy and exactly obedient to what is expected of him/her. No one can slam you because there's nothing to slam you about. When I'm off with my friends, I'm off with my friends. When I said I was going to the grocery store, that's exactly where I was going. I guess you could say the opposite of being above reproach would be attempting to "fly under the radar."

That's what this child was trying to do, and which teenager doesn't try it once in awhile--and more if the first and second times were successful? If caught and confronted in a loving, caring manner, I believe this pattern can be stopped, but I am new at this mother to teenager thing, so time will tell, huh?

The other point that became so clear during this conversation was that at some moment in time, we all must come to a point of introspection where we take a good, hard, honest look at ourselves and take responsibility for what we find. Am I living the life I want to live? Am I achieving my goals? Are my goals good? Am I heading down a path I like? Should I change course? Is there baggage I'm carrying around that I need to somehow get rid of in order to progress? Is there something out there better than what I currently have? Should I be seeking for that? Am I truly happy, and if not, what can I do to change that? Am I being the person I want to be? If not, what qualities does that person have, and how am I going to become like that?

In that honesty, there needs to be some acceptance of self, and along with the self-criticism, an acceptance of all that is good in ourselves. This is a bittersweet exercise filled with recognition of failings as well as understanding and gratitude for blessings and all the good in our lives.

As we spoke with this child, it became clear that the child wasn't happy with how things were going but also wasn't ready for change. In order to be ready, there needs to be a few moments of honesty. It needs to be decided just what is causing the discontent. In this case, it was an understanding of where the mistake is being made and gaining the self-discipline to balance things back out. It seems in order to be ready for change, there needs to be a point where we hit rock bottom. Just where is rock bottom? Do we decide for ourselves when enough is enough?

I think there are tough situations in life that are, to some degree or another, out of our control. With those, to get through them sanely (haha! Funny I should say that coming from a "madhouse"), is to lie to yourself and tell yourself it's all good. For example, when I'm dealing with tough people that I have no choice but to deal with, I have to tell myself, "I love this person." It almost becomes a mantra just to get myself through it. In difficult situations, I have to keep telling myself that "life's good" and continually count my blessings.

For circumstances that we can control, we have to be honest. For example, the things I say to difficult people I interact with are my choice completely. If I say something offensive, it's up to me to face that honestly and remedy the situation or live with the consequences of appearing to be a jerk as well as any backlash that could come my way from those I've offended.

"Some of our struggles involve making decisions, while others are a result of the decisions we have made. Some of our struggles result from choices others make that affect our lives. We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond. Many struggles come as problems and pressures that sometimes cause pain. Others come as temptations, trials, and tribulations."

--L. Lionel Kendrick

So, it all lies in the response....When things are difficult, and cannot be altered--you just have to swim through them, you've just got to lie--let's call that what everyone else does "positive self-talk." When things are difficult by your own making, that's when you have to be honest--face it, take responsibility for it, take responsibility to change it and move on.

So, therein lies just another tender mercy. I'm sad when my kids struggle, but in some cases, it's a blessing...for both of us. Here's what I've learned from all of this....I choose when I've hit rock bottom--when I've had enough. I must live above reproach continually. When faced with hard things that I can't control, I've got to keep talking positively to myself and keep myself buoyed up. When I deal with things that are my doing and I control, I need to be honest with myself and take responsibility for making them better.

Okay, so maybe this did no one else any good at all, and it's just the blitherings of a woman in a madhouse. If so, it's all good. I'm still a bit scared to say that I may be growing up.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Thanks for this Julie.

Like it? Share it....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...