Keep Your Weather
This is the nugget that fired up my brain in the first place - thanks Kari Hargon! My youngest son is a dramatic soul, and he seems to absorb the emotions of others almost through osmosis. One glance that he interprets as mean, or a laugh he thinks is teasingly directed at him, and his whole day is ruined - an entire argument conducted in his head ends in the person hating him with a vengeance. (Yes, I'm sure he will be a brilliant Actor some day, he fits the profile perfectly, and when he becomes the next Johnny Depp he can pay me back for his lifelong drama training!)
While chronicling the latest and greatest with Kari, she said that she always tells her girls to, "Keep your weather." Upon seeing my puzzled expression, she explained, "I tell them to keep their sunshine, even if someone else is showing their clouds or rain. Don't let their clouds cover your sunshine." Lightening Bolt! Now, I'm singing, "You Are My Sunshine" every day, and we talk in terms of the weather as it relates to the emotions of those around him, and his own. Of course we talk about things that will naturally cloud up and rain on your day - like falling off the monkey bars at school and twisting your ankle - but save those clouds and rain for the stuff that really causes them, not the imagined stuff. When the 100 degree Northern California summer days. come around again, 'll probably miss the clouds!
'Thank You' in a box
In the past, when I've been angered by, and had a disagreement with someone and I haven't had a chance to end the situation to my satisfaction, I would hang on to the incident and play it over and over in my head, all the while saying or doing the things I wish I could have to my imaginary opponent. That destructive habit finally ended in my late 20's, because I realized this was only hurting me more than the original incident - I would get stuck there, only to relive it years later when something brought it back to the surface. (Okay, it was really my early 30's, but whose keeping track!) Guess what? My 10 year old does the same thing!
These situations are perfect opportunities to learn about ourselves and grow. Go ahead, look at the situation in detail when you can do so without emotion and from a different (usually your opponent's) perspective. You might see your part in the confrontation a little differently, and if you are honest with yourself, see how your own reactions could have fueled rather than alleviated the tension. In this way, I learned (and subsequently taught my son) to mentally say "Thank You" to those with whom I have fought, because without them, I would be blissfully unaware of my own emotional stupidity, and unable to have the opportunity to change it. Just because I'm mentally thanking them each time I think about the situation (or my son sees them at school) doesn't mean I remove my boundaries, however. Just because I have grown and changed my behavior, doesn't mean the other person has! Remember..."First time shame on ____, Second time shame on ____!"
The only shoes that can hurt are the shoes that fit
Okay, I'm mixing my own metaphors here, so I'll explain. We have another saying in our house, and it goes like this:
"Friends are like shoes. You need to try on a lot to find those that fit!" MKJ
You get where I'm going with this right?! The other saying we use a lot in our house comes from a well known doctor:
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss
Yeah, I paraphrased the two and mashed them up together. Let's face it, the only people who can truly hurt you are the people whose opinions matter to you. Usually the people who say things that get you upset are people you probably don't like very well anyway. So, why would you let their words affect you? If you don't like them, their opinion doesn't matter. I'll go one step further...If they gossip to people about you, the people who believe their gossip don't matter either. The friends that fit won't just believe gossip - they will get to know you themselves, and form their own opinion about you, instead of letting someone else do it for them.
Note to self...the friends that are most comfortable usually have the same taste in shoes. Go figure?!
If any of these nuggets haven't found their way into your brain yet, I hope they fly in now, and help you make your life (and the lives of your kids) easier. I'll leave you with my favorite saying - Disclaimer! It's PG rated:
"Don't let the Bastards get you down!" R.J.Johnson (My Father-in-Law)
What is your weather today? How many comfortable shoes are you privileged to have?
~Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
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