John, my blogger friend, posted something this morning that inspired this post. It’s already been on my mind for such a long time. It’s time to come out.
John has had to overcome so much in his life. From my understanding there was a great amount of family dysfunction in his home and life was less than ideal. He witnessed things that no child should ever have to witness. He watched his mother live in a very dark place of pain. When he lost both parents at a young age, his world went spiraling into his own very dark abyss for years. But…he didn’t remain there. He pulled himself up and is in much better place now although he still struggles at times with who he was and who he is today. He wears his heart on his sleeve, as do I, so I can relate in some respect to his life’s struggles. His past is indeed dark and he acknowledges it. Most importantly he owns it and is conquering it. He doesn’t blame his past or anyone for his life struggles. He owns every bit of it. I don’t know him well, but well enough to say I’m proud of him as if he was my own son.
In my observation through life, very few people have had what I call ideal childhoods. Most seem to have suffered from one dysfunction or another. No family is perfect but I do see now that how we respond to dysfunction makes all the difference in the world. If one or both parents does not handle life well it can filter to the children. I know I did not handle my childhood life dysfunction well which then seeped into my adulthood (and parenthood). And I don’t quite know how to apologize for that.
I realize that more and more how much childhood is reflected in adulthood through my own personal life and in the lives of my six children. Through them I see my “flaws” as a parent. Not that they are flawed, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is I see areas where maybe I didn’t love or encourage them enough. I certainly wasn’t patient enough. I see where they are trying to correct things things on their own now and doing a great job of it. Maybe this happens with every generation. I don’t know. I do know my kids are much stronger than I could ever hope to be.
Be mindful of how you handle life’s difficulties, especially around young, impressionable children. Not that you are going to be perfect at everything but more-so that you try to provide strength, love, and encouragement along with the appropriate tools to teach them how to overcome trials. Apologize when you fail. Let them see the well-roundedness of you as their guide through childhood.
Thanks to my kids for continuing to love me through my weaknesses and my failures, from their youth through today. I never meant to let them down.
Thanks, John, for inspiring me today. ♥️
Photo: St. Joe, MI, June 2017