Living in a household of teenagers and young adults have forced me develop a greater zen approach to life to maintain my sanity. Everyday, I have to choose my battles and now I ask myself “If I pick this battle, who will win or who will lose.. or is xxxx whatever worth the fight?”
After an outburst at home with one of my teens, Jelan my middle son came to console me. “Mom, don’t worry too much about this situation. It will pass. I have been to other homes and other parents are dealing with those same issues you are having with us. It is not only you and it is just life.”
I was still fuming at what had just happened. I responded to him and said “What am I supposed to do? Should I stop talking to all of you? I feel that I am always nagging and going over and over the same things!”
And then the nugget of wisdom came. He said, “No, don’t ever stop talking. You can stop nagging because we get annoyed when you do it. But in my quiet moments, I do think about what you say and I find that those things you say to us, comes back to me when I need to hear them.”
He continued to share various experiences in his life where he made decisions, especially within his peer group, based on what he believed this parents and family values are. I was surprised at how much he has paid attention and has gathered over his 16 years of growing up.
Jelan’s nugget of wisdom brought me all the way back to how my parents spoke to me or in our household and I realized that I had somehow, unconsciously picked up my mother’s nagging habit which I really did not like. It is funny that I can nag at home but not anywhere else… and as I thought more about it, I realized that we can be unconsciously selective about how we react to situations based on our past experiences. It is not always clear to others why we do what we do but with greater awareness, we can choose our responses to situations and create a new pattern for ourselves.
I made a mental shift in that moment to continue talking to my children and to say what needs to be said as a parent. It is our responsibility to guide our children and we cannot remain silent for fear of getting them upset neither can we buy peace from them. However, I also made a note to myself to keep on “talking” and “discussing” (like I do at work) and not “nagging”. What a difference that made to my sanity!!!
Whether you are at work today or at home, take a moment to reflect on how you react to situations around you. What triggers your reaction? Past experiences? Something you have been taught to believe about yourself? Something someone has told you? How did you arrive at your “how-to” in your life? Is it working for you and those around you? If you find yourself drawing similar negative experiences to you, take note that it may not be about “all the other persons” but rather it may be a call for you to reflect more on why you do what you do. The moment you can shift your mind something almost magical happens – you see things differently and you react to the very same situation differently.
TuneIn today to observe yourself and StepUp to being a more intuitive and deliberately selective about your reactions to what life throws at you.