Life is full of choices. Much of the time, they end up being defined by whether you have chosen to react or respond negatively or positively to something. We often ‘react’ instantly, forgetting to think about te issues in depth before responding, especially in conversations.
I read a blog this morning written by someone I met a few years ago, with the joyous announcement of a twin pregnancy, and these words resonated deeply;
“There would be many people over the next few weeks who thought it was their job to make sure we knew this was going to be hard – really hard – just in case we had forgotten how to whip up a fear tornado on our own… “
What I found astounding about this blog was her fear that so many of her family and friends would be negative about her news, and that she was concerned at all about what others thought about it. The only people who have any right to be negative or positive about something as personal as a twin pregnancy are the parents… surely? One of the greatest joys anyone can have is the birth of a baby, so doubling that would have to be a good thing! Busy yes, but not without great love and joy.
I’m usually a ‘glass half full’ girl, and one of my nicknames in primary school was Smiley. I still have a 12″ ruler with Smiley written all over it, and happy faces, long before emoticons appeared in our world. Obviously there are plenty of times I am miserable and negative, but I work on being positive even if sometimes it takes a little time.
As children, my siblings and I we were criticised a lot behind closed doors, for almost everything. It was never good enough, the marks weren’t high enough, the colour didn’t suit us, the style was too revealing, not revealing enough… you get the drift. That is not to say my parents didn’t love us; I’m sure they simply thought they were correcting us for our own good, and sometimes it probably was, but the habit of criticism turned inward has been a hard habit to break. My husband has had the same issues, and I realise it was probably a generational thing, as we are close in age, and nothing at all to do with being loved or unloved. It is also one reason why I was a bit of a perfectionist for many years, with the title of owning “The Shiny Sink Academy”! I now know only boring people have immaculate homes… or at least that is how I justify not cleaning fanatically.
Being a parent brings great responsibilities, perhaps first and foremost to love our children unconditionally, no matter what path they choose in life, and to be happy for them. That is not always easy, as our own expectations of life, and our dreams for them can get in the way. Many parents see going to university as the only pathway for their kids, and speak about children who have not attended in terms of failure. I’m really really glad my hairdresser and car mechanic, and the fabulous baker down the road chose not to go to university.
One of the mottos that helps me respond or react positively more often than negatively is this; “We have two ears (or eyes) and one mouth, and should use them in that proportion.” Applied to making decisions or responding to anything, simply means to me, take more time… think/read/listen first, speak/write/respond after that. See the positive opportunities in everything, even the negative criticism or events in your life. Everything that has happened to you so far is part of who you are today, and is a gift. Enjoy them all. Even a diagnosis of dementia is a gift, if you choose to see it that way…
Live you own life, everybody else’s is already taken!