What does growth look like? When you are holding out for something phenomenal and amazing to happen, you often miss the small but meaningful changes that have occurred. So it is your perspective that determines what you will define as growth.
You are probably wandering what potholes and cracked phone screens have in common. They are both imperfections and are very much in your face. Once I noticed one pothole in my road, the others just became visible and every time I left my house they taunted me. I was forced to endure a cracked phone for a month and was a true test of my evolution as a recovering perfectionist.
The general definition by WIKI is “Perfectionists strain compulsively and unceasingly toward unobtainable goals, and measure their self-worth by productivity and accomplishment. Pressuring oneself to achieve unrealistic goals inevitably sets the person up for disappointment. Perfectionists tend to be harsh critics of themselves when they fail to meet their standards.”
To celebrate my 21st wedding Anniversary, I decided to write a blog and share some insights I have gained over two decades as a wife. This year, I started to see couples in my practice for marriage counselling and the past few months have really made me value and appreciate my own marriage even more.
My 15 year old daughter is in grade 9 and we attended her Subject Choice meeting the other night. As I looked around the hall, parents were holding their breathe in fear and children were anxiously scanning the room for comfort. All the parents were listening attentively to the guest speaker about the different academic streams open to specific subject choices.
The answer is No, it’s never too late to say sorry. I know it is a Justin Bieber song but also the title of this blog post which I felt was an important one to share. I wish I had the knowledge I have now when my teens were younger, but unfortunately ten years ago I didn’t and as a result made many, many and many more mistakes as a parent. When we parent from an unconscious place, we have no road map providing us with guidance to ensure that we don’t harm, scar and damage our children in our effort to raise balanced healthy adults one day. I can only forgive myself and try to do better with the knowledge I have in the present moment.
When I was faced with many clients struggling with marital issues I knew that I needed to read or listen to this book on my reading list. Not only did I gain knowledge for them but learnt a thing or two to help me in my own marriage. As young married people we enter into a marriage from a place of blissful ignorance thinking love will get us through any challenge. Until a life stressor like job loss, illness, death of a family member or child shakes our foundation to the core.
Gary Chapman writes a relatable and humorous book with all his own real life marriage mistakes that just makes the content concrete. There are twelve chapters and each enlightened me further into the many reasons why marriages can fail and crumble very early on in the union. I will list them all and give you my the lesson I took away.
My youngest son (9) came home from school distressed twice last week, but wouldn’t say why. When he was ready to share the reason I almost went into overprotective mommy mode. His teacher had negatively commented on his handwriting once and used his ‘cursive’ as the bad example the second time. His anxious temperament needs critical feedback to be given in a nurturing, positive way and in private. He told me he cried in the bathroom and had been clenching his fists in class in anger.
Every time I read a new book, its like forming a relationship and connection with an old friend. I internalise the words and make it part of my life. I share the highs and lows of the content and ride the rollercoaster of emotions all with the end goal of changing, improving and growing as a person. No book has ever shaken me to the core to the extent of The Awakened Family by Dr Shefali. I am a huge fan and have read her earlier book, The Conscious Parent. There was something about the messages in this book that touched me in a place that I had long disconnected from and as a result old wounds opened and healing began.
I think that most of us have an unrealistic expectation or fantasy that our kids will just automatically be friends and we will all live happily ever after. Delusional LIES ….. Do you get along with all your siblings now as a grownup? Did you get along with them in childhood? If you are like me from a normal family – then your answer is NO!!!!
I think my struggle to accept my kids fighting may stem from my own unresolved sibling issues, I will get into that in another post. This post is inspired by the latest book I am reading by Dr Laura Markham called Calm Parents, Happy Siblings, I have had it for months but didn’t get around to reading it.
When I got to page 9, I made my first meme. See below and felt it needed to be a post.
Often people assume that because I am a counsellor and help other parents with their relationship issues with their kids or how to resolve problems, that I will never mess up with my own kids. Being human makes me fallible and I want to share my recent learning experience.