In grad school, I had an instructor that would begin class with this question, "What has become clear to you since we last met?" It was a question that Ralph Waldo Emerson would use to prompt conversation when he greeted friends.
When our instructor would make have us answer this, it was a bit frustrating at first, to say the least. I soon began to appreciate the time to share what was going on in my life. Our classes were 6-9pm. Most of us worked full-time jobs and were working on our graduate degrees in our spare time...oh me oh my...
What I now realize is that he was teaching us the importance of reflection. Looking back on what you'd just experienced, sharing about the event as well as what you'd learned.
"What's become clear" isn't a chance to only vent; the nature of the question prompts you to dig deeper. To leave the surface of "something happening to you" and looking more for the why or the take away.
What has become clear to me since we last met? I can't please everyone. No matter how much I plan to support the needs of all the teachers I train and coach, there will be someone or one's that dislike, disrespect or sometimes even dishonor my efforts.
You know what? What's even clearer is that doesn't represent the full group. It's someone's opinion and most of the time, it's the minority. So it shouldn't take up too much space in my brain or my heart.
What's clear is that I'm human and so are others. My job is to show up and do the best I can with what I've got.
This role of parenting is hard. Finding the balance between being a supportive mother and still instilling values and boundaries can be so trying. With my boy being a tween, this challenge is becoming more apparent and causing me to stretch myself.
It's so difficult when you can see a path or better choices so clearly and they can't. Why is that? Why don't they just do what we say? I know...it's their path. It's their choice. I'm here to guide my son. But ultimately, it's his choice whether or not he receives that guidance.
Pulling away from angry and easing into love, compassion and support often is a daily struggle. Frequently, I don't have the answers, and sometimes it's so hard that I want to shake someone. But then, I remember he's also this guy...
I'm learning to get quiet, look in his eyes and see that he's doing the best he can with what he's got.