Learning to take responsibility for yourself is one of life’s greatest skills.
Instead of living in your past (and blaming the people that have hurt you), adulthood is all about learning how to forgive and move on. Mastering the skill of taking control of how you think and act separates the kids from the grown ups.
Stewing over people that have wronged you, lost love or your rotten life in general can quickly take control of your daily thoughts. This does not have to be your everyday reality and you can unlearn this toxic way of living.
Mind blowing, isn’t it.
End of the day, who wants to hang around emotional vampires that are forever complaining about their lives and not taking positive steps to improve their future. Social suicide at its best — it’s draining to be in their presence! Although they fill up space in your social calendar, you just want to shake them and say, “I like you and all, but work on your issues and call me later.”
To have personal freedom (a.k.a. the maturity) to avoid that victim or martyr role, you have to get real with yourself. An honest assessment of where your thoughts go, how you view the world, and what your expect out of life is a good beginning.
The next step is counseling or a good book like The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
This book is an excellent guide for us mere mortals. While it might seem too simple, life truly can be this straight forward.
Quality people don’t care if you’re the sharpest knife in the drawer, the letters behind your name, your address, the measurement of your waistline or your social standing. Drama does not have to be in your life, and the people around you do not have to dictate your mood and/or opinions.
The truth is, once you’ve taken control of your emotions, expectations and actions, then and only then can you teach your children to do the same.
Now go back to The Four Agreements with the eyes of mother. Here are some of the ways to teach this wisdom to your kids:
- Teach your kids that their words are powerful.
- Allow your kids to explore their feelings and emotions.
- Teach your kids to feel, then reflect, on why they are feeling a certain emotion.
- Guide your kids toward friends that make them feel empowered and welcomed.
- Use positive (not negative) reinforcement with your kids (pointing out what they do right, as opposed to wrong).
- Teach kids that when people are mean, it’s because they are not happy with themselves.
- Encourage your kids to ask questions and not take on other peoples’ problems/emotions/opinions.
- Tell your kids not to expect things from people/life. Rather, teach them to work hard.
Most of all, modeling this behavior is the most powerful tool you can give to your children. While you might not be Tiger Mom with non-stop flashcards, or following the latest parenting trend, you can empower your kids toward personal freedom with these simple life lessons.
Once you have learned how to embrace your own emotional awareness, your kids can be guided to do the same. What a wonderful world it could be…