About all those choices….
We live in a society that values choice above many things.
Think about this: we CHOOSE what job we want. We CHOOSE what house to live in. We CHOOSE what person to partner with. We often CHOOSE when to bring children into our lives.
BUT WE DO NOT CHOOSE WHO SHOWS UP! (Even if you’ve adopted!)
Of course, we love them. Of course, we care for them. Of course, they are the most important things in the world to us.
But we did not choose them. They were chosen for us (by chance? by God?, by the Universe? by genetic code? - doesn’t really matter, although the longer I do this work, the more I think that “chance” is not really part of it).
In any case, our children show up. And they show up with “stuff”.
Some stuff we love (Aunt Flo’s dimples!), some stuff we laugh about (easy-going just like Dad!).
Some stuff is tough - like when our child has a developmental delay or disorder.
And some stuff we see and think, “ugh. There it is”.
You know what these things are. These are the traits that make us crazy. The stubbornness in the wake of being told “no”. The fear of strangers. The look your child gives you when they don’t like what you’re saying or doing. The way in which no matter how long you give them, they always need more time. They way in which, if you say “yes”, they’ll always say “no”.
Here’s the rub: the things that bother us most about our children are usually are the same traits that most bother us about ourselves.
So then we are presented with an interesting opportunity. We can try to resist these traits, shut them down and try to change them (and create lots of conflict and drama in the process). Or, we can choose to get to know those traits intimately and make peace with them -- in both ourselves and our children.
Our children offer us a reflection of parts of ourselves that we can choose to avoid or develop. To neglect or nurture.
We can choose to resist or choose to grow. Which do you choose? Are you up for the challenge?