I literally freaked out. I couldn’t stop crying “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…” I was holding our 7-week old in my arms and he was screaming. We had an accident and the poor baby was hurt and confused.
After a couple nights in the pediatric ICU and with a couple fractures, he was back to his normal self. My wife and I, on the other hand, took a little longer to get over it.
When we were in the ICU those couple days, we were immediately humbled and grateful for how easy we had it. We were surrounded by kids in so much worse shape than our baby.
One mother was in with her 11-year-old daughter. They travelled 3 hours each way to this hospital a couple times each month for a multi-day stay due to complications with the girl’s disease. The mother was inspiringly at peace and positive, but she said something that stuck with me: “Parenthood is one guilt trip after another.”
I sometimes judge with regret the father I’ve at times been. I should’ve been better. When my kids act up, it’s probably my fault. As they grow up, they’ll be right to blame me for their problems.
Nearly all of us parents are doing the best we can. We really are. Our parents did the best they could too. After all, we’ve all got chemicals flowing through us (we’re on drugs), we’ve got conditioned ways of being, and we’ve been trained by people in our lives and by culture itself.
Yet, the main job of parents is to keep their kids’ needs met until the kids can meet those needs themselves, and if we’ve made it to adulthood our parents got the job done! So that frustration, pain, sadness, and trauma that some of us experienced at the hands of our parents: we aren’t to blame for it, but neither are our parents. It's on us to now grow up, heal, and let the judgment go.
“You are not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.” - Ken Keyes Jr.
As adults, coming from an awareness of our whole, self-healing, and never-broken fundamental nature, we now and forever have the capability to heal, grow, and live our best lives.
Part of being an adult is understanding that whether we signed up for it or not, whether we like the idea of it or not, and whether we think we’re ready for it or not, we are all part of the village raising the next generation and each other.
We have an inevitable and palpable impact on the people in our lives - good or bad, ugly or beautiful. We also have a say in how we allow the people in our lives to impact us. We really are the village for our kids and each other.
Each of us can live as examples of the full potential and possibility of capable, thriving adults. We can be models for our kids, we can be models for others’ kids, and we can be models for each other.
Here are four questions for you to ponder:
What kind of impact are you having on the people in your life?
What kind of impact would you like to have?
What kind of impact do others have on you?
What kind of positive impact are you willing to allow others to have on you?
3 Steps to Living with Integrity might be helpful to you in engaging with your village from created intentions.
Thanks so much for reading for my work. ❤️