What do you typically see? The things that bring you Joy and aliveness or the things that are Challenges? Do you sometimes almost feel blinded by the challenges?
Many of us, myself included, sometimes need reminded of the fact that there is always joy somewhere, it’s just that maybe we can’t always see it. It might be that we haven’t seen it for a while? Maybe it is being drowned out by the challenges and chaos.
“I love watching my child experience something new and see the smile take over her face”
“Please can you all clear your clutter off the dining table, there’s a pair of shin guards there, a laptop, Olaf and a bowl from breakfast that you said you would put in the dishwasher, dinner is nearly ready.”
“I love the cuddles, hugs and I love yous”
“Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes, please will someone deal with the table?”
“I love our life, we are all healthy and have so much fun together”
“Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes, PLEASE will you clear the table and set it?”
“I love creating things with my kids – from sandcastles in the summer to snowmen in the winter.”
“WILL YOU CLEAR THE TABLE AND SET IT, DINNER IS NOW READY?”
“I love the fact my kids love and care so much for the trees and the animals and the bugs.”
“I love their imaginations, creativity and innocence.”
I’m curious, what do you remember from the list above?
It has now been proven by research that our brains are hard wired to hang onto and see the negative five times more readily than we do the positive. Those negative thoughts are like Velcro, they stick hard and fast and the positive ones are like Teflon, fleeting and non-stick.
When our minds are focused on something, we tend to see it. When we focus on our challenges we see them and sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. Imagine being so focused on all the joy and good things that we didn’t see the challenges?
Remember when you were pregnant? What did you see? Pregnant women and strollers – they were everywhere! Where did they all come from? Truth is, there were no more of them then than there are now, it’s just that now our children are older, we don’t see them anymore.
We know that what we focus on grows.
Life as a parent will always have its challenges, and yes, we have to deal with them. However, our parenting challenges become much easier to deal with if we remember to focus on and appreciate all the joy and the good things we do have in our lives while we address them. The joy is always there, just like the pregnant women are.
Let’s not forget the joy, keep looking for it and enjoy more of it. What brings you joy?
PS. I nearly forgot to mention that we had a great dinner last night, full of laughter, light conversation and reflections of our day – it was full of joy. And, Olaf also joined us for dinner. When I got up to get bowls for our dessert, my eldest son said “I don’t need one Mom, there’s one already here!”
Oh boy, sorry Joy, it was J!