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.
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.
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?
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?
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.