Outside vs. Inside

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The opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear.
Each day, you choose between love and fear.

One morning, Day 6 of our Walkout, one of my teenage daughters told me she was going out to breakfast with her boyfriend. She’d been out a lot that week: There were pre-prom activities, “The Prom,” and then post-prom outings.

As a recovering Tiger Mom, I’ve bitten my tongue when I want to ask about tell her to do her schoolwork. I’ve backed off (been over a year now), because I wanted to go from Tiger (ferocious and unforgiving) to Owl (wise and patient).

Since my own transformation, her grades have improved dramatically (4.1 GPA), she’s obtained her driving permit license, played violin at All-State and she’s noticeably happier.

But that morning, I voiced concern about her responsibilities.  Inwardly, I judged her social calendar. She’s going out too much. She’s not working hard enough. How will she get a college scholarship?

Do you hear the fear?

Her smiling face turned dark. “I’m communicating to you my plans. Why do you want to pick a fight?”

And I answered confessed, “I am struggling inwardly. I know I should not say this. You know what? I trust that you know what you need to do and that you will do it.” Ah! Good catch!

And we were fine.

I chose love over fear.

People (who are “people” anyway?) might argue: “You are her parent. It’s your job to get on her about her responsibilities.  You can’t let her run all over you like that.” But she’s not running all over me. She’s living her life. She is her own person and she knows what she’s doing. She’s not putting herself in danger. She’s not putting others in danger.  I would say (and do) something if that was the case.

Too many Tiger Parents make the same mistakes over and over again. They communicate to their children that the outside is more important than the inside: grades, colleges and achievements are more important than knowing who you really are…more important than having fun with friends and learning how to navigate social waters.  I’ve had several 5th and 6th grade students cry and tell me that they are receiving oppressive pressure at home.

Thus,  I continue to choose love over fear. It’s challenging at times. Fear can look like caring, or “good parenting” or “discipline.” But it doesn’t feel quite right. Love always feels true.

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Hedgehog

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Daily Painting Practice with August Wren (#13)

She goes about her business

and will tighten into a ball if you harass her

Her spines fall out under extreme stress

but she’s resilient (!) – they grow back

 

she’s vocal, nocturnal,

and has a natural immunity against snake venom

(through years of evolution?)

omniverous and vociferous

 

the badger can’t stay away

 

 

 

{Reading up on the hedgehog, it reminded me of the #metoo movement}

 

 

 

 

Feels Like…

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My teenage daughter and I had a conversation about her anxiety and panic disorders. She described it like this:

“It’s like wearing wet jeans to school. It’s really uncomfortable and smells bad and you want to take them off, but you can’t just whenever you want. You can’t take them off while you’re at school.”

Listening patiently and doing your best to understand are the first steps to alleviating the stress and anxiety of our loved ones.

A Force to be Reckoned With

John Force is an NHRA drag driver. He has over 144 victories and is a major player in his field.

As a child, he overcame childhood polio. As a young adult, he raced for twenty years and failed so miserably that he became the butt of jokes.

But he never gave up.

Most of us attempt something a few times and throw in the towel after a few failures.

What are you passionate about? Can you endure hundreds of fails? Public mockery? If you enjoy the process, (the learning and growth) instead of focusing on the end game, it takes care of itself.