Over the years, I have picked up various pieces of knowledge and wisdom as I navigate this journey of life. In this series, I will share a few things each week that I know for sure. Here’s my disclaimer: I never say never. I’ve learned my lesson on that one. I’m pretty sure the reverse is true too. So, while I am sharing what I know to be true, at the time that I am writing, few things are ever certain and truth can change. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the things I think I know for sure adapt and evolve over time as things tend to do. In fact, I’d be surprised if they didn’t! So, take these truths with a grain of salt and know that you can hold on to ideas that speak to you and just let the rest go. Here’s what I know for sure, for today…
- Quiet is critical. Everyone in your world can tell you something. You can believe it to be true when you hear it. But, ultimately, until you hear your own inner voice telling you what you need to do, the rest is just noise. The only way to hear your inner voice is to make time to hear it by honoring the quiet moments in your life. Cultivate them, plan them into your schedule, whatever you need to do to tune in to the best teacher you have – yourself. In terms of parenting, remember this: you already know what you are doing. Listen to that inner voice – it won’t steer you wrong.
- To get from where you are to where you want to be, the only way out is through. The only way to get to the other side is to go through whatever process or challenge stands between here and there. This can apply in any and every area of our lives. So hard, right? It is so tempting when you start going through whatever it is that you are going through, to turn yourself right back around to the safety of your comfort zone. But then, if nothing changes, nothing changes. I heard once that it is helpful to imagine how it will feel once you are on the other side. To visualize and embody the feelings and qualities of the experience that you are trying to get to and embrace those feelings to give you the strength and perseverance to manage the in-between. It helps for me. Maybe it will work for you too.
- Hurt people hurt people. There are so many people walking through life hurting and aching and raw. They lash out and attack others and try to inflict their pain on those around them. Why? Well, it certainly alleviates one of the greatest fears: I am all alone. Because if I am hurting and I can hurt you, then we are hurting together. No one is safe. I am not alone anymore. When I hear about someone being hurtful or engaging in bullying behavior, I always, always wonder, what is it like at home for that person? How is she not getting what she needs? Even though she is lashing out, how can I respond with compassion. The only real answer is love. Responding with disdain or judgment does nothing to solve the real root of the issue. It is a reactive response to the symptom, not an antidote for the actual problem.