When you’ve discovered your WHY, thought ahead, maintained consistency, focused on what it means to BE a parent, it can build unity in a marriage.
That unity fosters in us a growing control over our unwanted/needed emotions, which allows us to focus on what’s MOST important in our lives.
You’ve grown quite a bit, my friend.
I’m excited for both of us!
Now take a moment and allow yourself a deep breath.
Seriously. Right now.
Take a deeeeeeeep breath.
Let it out slowly.
Think about who you’re becoming. About who your amazing child is becoming.
Yes, I know there’s been trials. There have been mistakes, and very likely some bad choices on your, OR your child’s part.
That’s called life.
But it’s also what I call success in motion.
Just as a new infant looks about and strives to mimic us walking through practice and believing they can create the same outcome, you and I can see others about us with ‘more’ harmonious lives. We see families and parents with unity (at least what we can see). We see children who DO behave as they are asked and raised to.
So we focus on what we have right in front of us and do what we know how to do.
One day at a time.
Because You’re Worth It
Points in my life where the challenges seemed to far outweigh what strength my wife and I had to give.
Issues kept coming—hits to our beliefs, to our time, draining resources, or worse—expectations from others taking whatever we had left in us.
But nothing hit me as hard as having to deal with a child who chose a completely different path from what we’d taught him. And yes, I’m talking about the son who ended up in the custody of the state, which I mentioned in “Create Meaning In What You Do.”
This happened at the very center of this experience, and with all the other challenges I had going on in my life, I was cracking.
Years after all this was over, my wonderful son—whom I deeply admire and have confidence in—went out to lunch with me. He was in from out of state and I asked him if we could just spend the day together, just him and me.
During that day, he asked me, “Why didn’t you give up on me, dad?”
Sorry—just a sec.
It was during the darkest times that I spent time alone, pondering what I was doing…second guessing who I was, and if I had the sheer strength to do what had to be done.
My WHY became more important to me in those moments that I can express—because it reminded me of who I was, in that moment.
It became the voice of reason that I didn’t have to doubt, because I was in a great place in my life when I started thinking about this. When I started forming my WHY and writing it down.
I could trust what I was reading with my whole soul—and it reminded me of the MOST important reason why I just could not give up, no matter the cost.
“Because, son,” I choked out, grabbing his forearm, “you…are…MINE.”
I looked him in the eyes and gave him the most loving smile I could muster as I started to cry. “Your choices don’t change that. You can’t escape it. Because I love you.”
Then I gave him a bear hug.
“And in the end, I’ve always been right”
He gave me his signature chuckle. “About what?”
“That you’re worth fighting for.”
I can’t stress this enough: you will have challenges that push you to your very limit.
To the core of your beliefs and strength.
And in those moments, you’re going to need a clear and potent perspective you can count on—something that can shout over the confusion and contradictions of your life.
That is and will remain, your WHY.
- WHY you are a parent.
- WHY you do what you do.
- WHY you want the outcomes you do.
- WHY your children are worth every struggle, every swing, and every creak, crack, and moan as you get up off that damn ground…one more time.
Can you see why I’ve said it’s so important for you to take the time to truly think, ponder, and question your WHY?
If you’re struggling to shape that belief, I suggest you try something.
Take some time and look up the most common struggles of teens, and even better yet—look up the struggles facing families.
Read the articles, the reports—look at the statistics, and then ponder on how you’re going to handle those very challenges.
Because you are more than likely to meet them head on at some point.
Oh, I did that same research myself.
Thing is, I didn’t have to deal with most of what I read—not head on.
But I did have to deal with common issues faced by most families, because it came into my house through my children’s friends and associations.
Through TV, social media, movies, and music.
You are not, and never will be, immune to the issues that plague the families around you. Doesn’t matter what resources or what social class you’re a part of.
It’s a small, small world…and the problems are looking for you.
So do your homework today.
It’s not too late.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Do some research through a search engine on ‘common teen problems’ and ‘common family problems’.
I suggest using Duck Duck Go, and NOT Google.
You may not know this, but Google is almost exclusively run by an AI (artificial intelligence), which curates what you ask. TRANSLATION: Google only gives you what IT thinks you should know.
Duck Duck Go gives you exactly what you ask for—and personally, I like making up my own mind.
Go over your WHY after you’ve done some reading and decide how you will meet these same challenges.
You’ve got this.
“‘I can’t,’ is a lie we tell ourselves when we simply find something uncomfortable or inconvenient to do.”