I have learned most things through experience- the hard way, but 3 stand out to me today. Of course, I have learned I’m not perfect and make mistakes every day, but let’s not get into that- haha. Maya Angelou said, when you know, teach, so here it goes… 3 things I learned the hard way.
Once I decide that I will assume everyone is doing the best they know how it changed my perspective on other people. Maybe that guy who made a bad choice and ended up in prison wasn’t taught about consequences. What if he didn’t have a good role model at home or any role model? Maybe that lady who is driving so slowly just found out some terrible news and isn’t in this world at the moment (I have had this experience!) Maybe those men who flew into the World Trade Center were taught by a different culture and they made the biggest sacrifice of their life and couldn’t wait to be their nation’s hero? It’s a completely different perspective or angle to look at. I’ve tried to think what it would be like to walk in other people’s shoes because I have been thrown into situations where I wish someone could see things from my point of view- but they can’t. They haven’t been there before and won’t open their eyes to see it differently.
Me first– There aren’t tools or many classes taught on how to be a good wife, mother or maybe person in general! In school we are taught math, science, and politics, but not enough on personal development. When a tough section of life came my way, I decided I had to fix me first, then help those around me- much like the oxygen in the airplane –Which I didn’t ever believe until I was dying in emotions from my life and had to help myself first. There is a ton of info out there on personal growth, we just have to take the time to do it. ACTION! Now we are blessed with the internet so we can find out quickly good advice. I have wanted to become the best and healthiest I can be, so then I could help others. It isn’t selfish, it’s smart. I had to change the story I was telling myself- if I am healthy I will teach my kids to be healthy and always look inward.
Boundaries– After I figured out myself a little I turned to my marriage and 9 kids. We all make mistakes and raising children is a full-time job- so of course we will make mistakes. One huge thing I have learned from raising 9 children from 3 sets of genes is kids are different and you can’t raise them in a cookie-cutter mold. Some learn really well from positive reinforcement, some take advantage of it. Some are born with a more positive outlook on life. All of them are naturally good at something- athletics, art, music. listening, talking. I feel I am here to help guide them to find those things that they are passionate about. Some learn with tight boundaries, some are better a little loose, and all of them push boundaries, so we as parents learn where to tighten the rope. Then there are my own boundaries which I never really set. My kids and everyone else could push me around and there wasn’t a “That’s enough.” Through personal development, I have had the opportunity to decide where my new boundaries are. Now they are here in full force and some people don’t like it- it was nice being able to take advantage of me. I thought it was important for my kids to see that it is good to have boundaries.
Tomorrow I may find 3 other things that I learned through experience and the hard way, but that shows me that each day I am learning and growing to become the best me I can be.