Part of the reason why I have such a passion to help people is because I feel that I’ve been successful in helping myself in a lot of areas, and I want others to have the same kind of success in their lives. (Why? Because it feels so good to live a good life and to know that you’re making good choices and to know that you’re on a good path in the present and to know that the future has good things in store.) I draw my strength from the divine, so that’s my true secret if I have one. But plenty of people consider themselves Christians and people of faith and people who are spiritually-minded, yet they feel stuck. They can’t progress. They can’t get out of and get through the mire that globs their feet down. Why is this? Aren’t people who are in tune with spiritual truths supposed to be able to automatically live a better life?
Well, yes and no. Yes because knowledge and understanding free the mind. But no because much of the purpose of information is not simply to know it but to do something with it. Application. This right here is the light bulb that went off in my head a million times over as I’ve gone through my short life. And every time I took the challenge, I was better for it. Every time I did the hard thing and actually did what I needed to do, I was able to grow out of the muck and into the fuller life that was meant for me.
I don’t think that my being this way is person-specific, like I’m the only one in the world who possesses the ability to do whatever needs to be done for the sake of goodness and excellence. I think that we all have the same capabilities to make our own choices and to do and be whatever we truly want to do and be. Some things are out of our control, yes. But by and large, nothing is stopping us from having the life we see for ourselves—from living the life we were meant to live. We stand in our way a lot of times because we are unwilling to give up our pride, our right to be right, or our attachment to what we think we need.
And when it comes to parenting (to make all this relevant to the topic at hand), some of us have a hard time with it (the giving up part of self-development) because we are unwilling to see things through the eyes of our child. We want to be the adult in charge, we want to be listened to, and we have to have what we think we need (whether it’s peace-and-quiet or tidiness or docility). In truth, child-friendly parents give all of this up while still nurturing positive qualities in their children because then we are free to love and accept our children for the children that they are while still being a positive, guiding force in their lives, having earned their trust (and continuing to earn their trust) by showing them that we will take care of them in all ways, no matter what it takes.
How do you focus on the positive with your children?