An amazing manifesto from parent to child

This is from my daily readings by Richard Rohr. I find this truly amazing and wish I knew about it when my children were small. I plan on creating a copy for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. My whole family needs a beautiful framed copy of this!

parent child

Researcher Brené Brown knows the importance of vulnerability and open-heartedness. In her book Daring Greatly, she offers a parenting manifesto that can serve as a touchstone when we feel afraid or resist vulnerability. You might read it aloud to a child, someone you love, or yourself:

“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude. I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.”

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Avery: 2012), 244-245. Visit brenebrown.com for a copy of the manifesto and other resources.

Treat people well

This has been a busy day. My youngest daughter and her family are coming to visit tomorrow and I am a cleaning fool. I keep reminding myself that this is family and everything doesn’t have to be perfect but oh well.

clean house

I remember when our children were young and someone would call and say “we’re in town and wondered if we could come and visit.” That was what we called “Emergency Clean.” Everyone knew what that meant and everything not in place was shoved in closets etc. so the house looked clean. In a funny was it was exciting to do. The kids pitched in and the house was a whirl.

You would think with just two of us the house would be clean all the time but I have never let cleaning come before people. My house is always ok. It may not be so you can eat off the floors but it is fine to live in.

For me, people are more important. If a friend calls and needs help I will stop what I am doing and help. My husband is the same way. We care about others and are willing to help where we can. Most of our friends are the same way.

do-good-to-others-2We are blessed to be where people care. My Aunt used to say “you get out of the world what you put into it.”  This makes sense. We have to do the right things. We have to respect others, treat them well, love them and care for them. Everyone may not behave the same but it is up to us to be an example. Maybe it will help.

No labels allowed

People often don’t want to admit to a mental illness because of the stigma attached. One of my physicians said “I don’t want to put down anxiety on your chart.” It made me think that until we are willing to take on that diagnosis the stigma will not stop.

“Don’t-be-ashamed-of-your-story.-It-will-inspire-others.” (1)

There are so many people with mental problems. There are so many who know they suffer with it but cannot reveal it. If we could accurately count the people who are out there I’m sure the numbers would be staggering.

Maybe some problems are longer lasting (maybe forever) and other are transient. I almost wonder if there is anyone who has not suffered in some way. I mentioned before that my daughter, when working as a psych nurse, was asked how you tell normal said: “Can you get up in the morning, eat, dress, work, sleep some and start over the next day? If you can you are normal.” All the trials and peculiarities of each life do not affect the ability to function. Yes, there are those who can’t and God willing, they can find help. The rest of us may feel that our life is erratic and up/down but still manage to get through most days.

Quotes-for-Mental-Health-1-683x1024

We continue to live and will not let our issues define us. Who, from the outside, can know what transpires in each person’s life? Who is arrogant enough to label anyone else? Only those who think they are “better than.” Their opinion does not define anyone at all. It only let’s us know the shallowness of their own psyche.

Never let other’s labels define you. Every person is valuable and important. Every person’s life has meaning. Show the world that everyone matters!

Joking can hide pain

jokester

I have know some people who have the ability to make everyone laugh. They are just naturally funny. Many comedians have this natural ability. A great many of them use events in their own lives to laugh at. These things and usually commonplace and occur in most of our lives and that is why they are so funny.

However, the things they make so funny often contain a great deal of pain. Joking about something becomes a way to deflect the pain that is underneath. Sometimes making a joke covers up depression and anxiety. A number of comedians suffer on the inside. Also, the joking hides insecurities. When I say this I think about Joan Rivers who seemed to see herself as unattractive. A lot of her comedy routines focused on looks.

We all do wear masks and don’t let the world see the struggles that are going on inside. Some people never take the masks off. I knew someone who was funny until the day he died and it was only afterward that I discovered he suffered with depression. It would have been so nice to nurture the person behind the mask.

i masquerade

On Word Press is it possible to discard the mask and let the true person out. It is all right to share the thoughts that plague us. In my many years I have learned to share the person inside more and more. If I am not accepted as I am then I don’t need those people. Life is too important to spend it using energy to hide yourself behind a mask. There are those who will accept the real you and they are worth knowing.

The child and the baby

This is not my story. I heard it at a conference. It was told by Madeleine L’Engle and I never forgot it. I don’t know if it is hers or someone told her. Forgive me if I tread on toes.

toddlerkissesnewbornbabyforehead.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart (1)

There was a family that had a new baby. They also had an older child called Tommy. (not real name). Tommy seemed very attentive to the new baby. After the baby had been put down in bed in the nursery he said to his parents. “I want to see baby!” The parents tried to usher him into the room but he pulled back. “I want to see baby ALONE!” The parents were a little taken aback but reasoned that there was a monitor in the room and they could hear whatever went on. They waited by the monitor. Tommy entered the room and they heard him say to the baby: “Tell me about God, I’m forgetting.”

Always having the “Mot Juste” (perfect word)

My father was a unique man. I don’t remember ever hearing him say something negative about another person. He always said “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.”

He had impeccable timing and always had exactly the right thing to say at exactly the right moment. I never think of what to say until the moment is long gone.

In the 1950’s I had a Willys Jeepster. Not the car you would want to have. It ran when it wanted to. The seats were screwed to the floor and I had to have a pillow to reach the gear shift. I will post more about this car in another blog.

my car
A beautiful version of the car, Mine was old and battered.

That day my father was riding with me. We were siting at a red light when the car decided to stop running. I was struggling to get it started when the light turned green. I couldn’t move and continued to crank the car and beg it to start.. The man behind me began blowing his horn impatient to move on. After a short while my father got out of the car and walked back to the man’s open window. I could see him speaking but had no idea what he was saying.

He calmly got back into the car …..the horn had stopped. At this moment I managed to get the car running and moved through the intersection. As soon as we were on our way I turned to my father and said: “what did you say to that man?”

He replied: “I told him I would blow his horn if he would start our car.”

Pay it Forward

I wasn’t able to write yesterday. Instead I spent the day doing what I was supposed to be doing. I had great fun helping a friend whose journey has been difficult, complicated and amazing. She is the reason her husband is alive and improving. I couldn’t have managed what she has.

9270391ba0de347ad230f6aa78da39df_christmas-light-safety-ideas-christmas-decorating-christmas-decorating-clipart_800-634

I then came home to help finish up decorating for Christmas. The decorating is not hard it is the putting back of the boxes everything was in. Since my husband has had knee and back surgery I am the designated lifter and mover. By the time I shlep the boxes out and then shlep them back I am beat. They are not heavy…just awkward to move. It goes without saying I slept well last night. It was the sleep of jobs well done.

Sometimes I wonder if putting up all these decorations for just a few weeks is worth it but then I look at the finished product and know it is. This time of year seems to bring out the best in most people. People seem kinder. It is really sad that it can’t be that way all year.

My Aunt (who was a real character) said “you get out of this world what you put into it.” Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way when people are hurtful and unkind but in the long run I find it to be true. Our kindness will rub off on most people.

pay it forward

I have never forgotten the film “pay it forward.” This idea has been true for me for years. When we were moving from place to place in the service we didn’t always have the time to return a favor “whence it came” but had to pass it on in another place with other people. Someday, somewhere we will get to “pay it forward.”

During this season be kind, be loving, and help others….but more importantly continue it into the new year!

Find your growing place!

complain volunteerSome people delight in complaining. They want to tell you what is wrong. They don’t want to fix it they just want to complain. Some of them are negative all the time but some are not. If you are part of a group plan there is always someone who wants to tell you why it won’t work. I hate to say it but probably the worst are church members. I think that part of the reason is that everyone who belongs think they own the whole thing. If there is one typo in the bulletin they have to point it out. Especially in some place where everyone can hear.

The hardest part about belonging to a church is that it is as imperfect as we are. I think that’s what turns some people off. The expectation is that everyone in the church will behave in a Christian way. Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Church may not necessarily be important to your spiritual growth but a community of people is. If you can find a church that feels like home that is wonderful. If you can’t then at least seek our some like-minded souls who will support you on your path.

a-place-to-grow

It is very difficult to grow in your chosen faith alone. We all need people who share their stories, their struggles and their journey. Connecting with others gives us insights that we would not find on our own. That is the same kind of support that some of us find blogging. We can gain support that way if we truly exchange our formation stories and our successes and failures. However, where faith is concerned, I think some sort of physical connection helps. Not everyone benefits from a place where we experience physical touch but as humans it changes us.

Don’t ever stop seeking the place that you can grown and thrive!

 

Keep writing!

As I read the blogs in my reader and explore the writings of those who read my blog I am struck by the wideness of differences in our lives. Yet, we are alike. Something written has caused us to connect in some way.

The view of lives in far away places and close to home expands my understanding. I see the simple, everyday moments people experience and I feel a kinship with their thoughts. The writing is a window into other lives. We are more alike than we are different. Most of the joys and sorrows are the same. Most of us encounter love and hate. Most of us have seen grief in some way. Most of us long for a better, more loving world.

francisofassisi1

Surely this glimpse into another life, another world, will draw us closer together. Understanding blocks hatred. The desire to reach out and draw closer will surely open the path to deeper relationships where hatred has no home. We can give love the chance to grow and encompass those around us.

Keep writing!

Life is a team sport

find people

Life is a team sport. The idea of a sports “team” is that they all work together toward a goal. No one player is foremost. Without the others the game would be lost. I know that sometimes there are players who seem better than the others but that person could not go out on the field alone. Each one is important to the outcome.

Some games are not for team players….I’m thinking of tennis (mostly alone) and golf (also mostly alone). This is the place where the individual shines. They do shine at the game but I suspect that it took a team to get them there. They didn’t do it alone.

For most of us life requires a team. We need other people in our lives. Without it life is barren. I once saw a documentary about a chaplain to those on death row. The interviewer asked if he believed in the death penalty. He said no. He was then asked what he would suggest instead. He answered that he would sentence them to life in solitary confinement. For most of us this would be worse than death. Total insanity would likely be the result. We really need human contact.

For some people human contact is difficult. Social anxiety can make being with others difficult. For some, being so needy that wanting acceptance from everyone can make life unmanageable. ( a different kind of social anxiety) However, contact of some kind is crucial to our well being. For those people social media is a blessing especially if it offers a safe place to interact with others. Hopefully this contact will help move them toward enabling a face to face interaction.

When I thought about this I realized that there were people in the past who recognized like minded others through books, letters, and limited contact and who used the written word to communicate with each other. Many formed a bond and later connected in a more intimate setting. So even in the past communication in a non threatening way was possible. Now it is faster and easier.

you-cant-do-it-alone-quote-500x422

Never stop seeking out those who can enhance your life and offer a safe environment for exchanging thoughts and feelings. Life is a team sport. We can’t do it alone.