People who live too much in the past are often depressed people. And people who live too much in the future are often anxious people. We’ve been our fair share of both, but we are learning now how to simply live here, in the present, where we are right now. It’s good to reflect on the past, and it’s good to plan for the future. But once we’ve done that, we are free to simply be! Isn’t this a wonderful feeling?
The idea of change—it can be scary, as we know well. But part of our secret is that we have learned how to embrace the changes we’ve faced in our life. And what is more, we have even embraced the changes as they have come. We aren’t attempting to force everything to stay the same anymore. That’s a futile effort! What we can do, and what we have been doing lately, is to do what we can to positively control our lives and all that we are responsible for and then to deal with (which includes facing it and/or letting it go) whatever remainder (as in division) is left over (redundant?).
In the context of parenting our children in child-friendly ways, what this means is that part of the challenge of parenting is to see our children as the individuals that they are. They are growing up day by day, and the way that we help them do that well is to grow with them. As they get older, let us embrace those changes. And as we change, let us embrace the differences we are experiencing so that we’re all changing (and more fully developing) together.
It’s kind of like in marriages where two people say they’ve changed too much and that they’ve grown apart (to explain why the relationship has deteriorated). Well, if we can view change as inevitable, then we can learn how to accept it and embrace it—and then change becomes a vehicle for thriving growth and not decay. Two people in a marriage can change and grow together, thus making the relationship stronger over time instead of weaker. This is similarily true of parents and their children. And of friends (though friends may come and go). And of colleagues (though work connections may come and go).
Change, then, can give us the opportunity for excitement and adventure—there is always something new in our lives. Always something fresh. And we can get this just by living well, not by making haphazard choices. As the parent and the spouse that we are, we are occupying prime real estate in the market of living well—and this gives us reason for celebration and gratitude.