Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier. –Tennyson
I realize it is now February and we are one month in to 2012, but this blog is more of a reflection of one’s past year and how it impacts one’s future so the Tennyson quote seems right on. I was sitting in a yoga class toward the conclusion of last year and I had an epiphany of sorts. My instructor was asking us to set our intention for the particular hour together and shared her own insight about the “No’s” in her life; those desires that she had that did not come to fruition and also the boundaries that she personally had to set with certain relationships that were seemingly unhealthy. She shared with us how she had come to discover that when there is a “No” in one’s life, the law of balance ensures that a “Yes” will follow. All we have to do is be open to it. Perhaps this means that setting a boundary (a “No”) in a relationship allows for the relationship to change for the better or become less important, and not getting the job offer after several interviews means that there is a different opportunity that is a better fit for us in relation to where we are in our lives. It seems simple … out of a “No” comes a “Yes”.
My epiphany came in the form of a discovery as to what my role is as a parent to my four children, in particular my daughter who is embarking on her final semester of her junior year. As she has matured, gaining momentum in her career and academic pursuits, she has attempted to become involved in various experiences whether they be internships, running for a sorority office, mentoring relationships, honor society memberships, etc. She has been chosen to participate in some of these yet not been selected for others. There is obvious disappointment amidst some feelings of success.
I have learned my role to be one of encourager, inspirer and processor. Encouraging the taking of risks and living wholeheartedly, inspiring my daughter to see her strengths and possibilities, and processing the “Yes’” and, more importantly, the “No’s”. Aha! This I can do! This is my epiphany! Perhaps for our daughters their disappointments might include a relationship ending, a leadership opportunity not to be, being passed over for an internship and so on. As parents we can fill in the blanks with the “No’s” for our own children and also point out the “Yes” that they may not be able to see (a new friendship or free time to explore another interest, selection to an honor society or campus organization where one will meet new faces, a different work experience in a different city … you get the idea.)
I reflect on all my own personal “No’s” and “Yes’” and see their connectedness. I am grateful for this awareness so I can pass this on to my daughter as she is faced with her own. Now that Mary Claire has 5+ semesters and some summer school under her belt, I can look back at a bigger picture and see the semesters that were perhaps more challenging academically or more of a heartache for her emotionally. I can point out to her the peaks when she was “on fire” about school and life and what was going on and when she pulled back a bit in retreat. All of these experiences are necessary for growth and maturation. This is our role as a parent of a college age daughter or son: To encourage, to inspire and to process. Blessings to you in this new year of parenting …
The only thing that isn’t small stuff, is the reason you’re on this earth in the first place: to find that portion of the world’s lost heart that only you can ransom with your love…
-author Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance
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