Like the rest of modern society I wear a lot of hats; I have several jobs or tasks that I am working on at any particular time. I am a daughter, a parent, a friend, a student, a researcher, a writer, a creator, an intuitive, an artist. In my younger days as a mother I served as cook, chauffeur, counselor, nurse, entertainer. In the classroom where I am Professor Van Ry, I help students to understand how society functions. I am a facilitator; I work with students as they take control of their learning. When they make the choice to learn, I am right beside them.
But here’s the thing, the one “job” I have enjoyed the most and likely have done the longest is that of mother. My mother once told me that children are gifts from God. God has entrusted us to care for, nurture, protect, and raise children until they are called home. Just like working in the classroom, it is also important to facilitate learning at home. Parents are the first teachers children have. It is important that as they age and become adults they learn that they are in control of their lives; they need to believe that they, as the rest of society, are constantly making choices as they navigate their place in the world. What better lesson can we give our children?
I love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Tweet this.”
How often do you hear children quip, “He made me … .” or “She made me … .” What if at a very early age we taught children that they have choice!? As parents we make many choices for our children; it’s our job to do so in order to protect and care for our loved ones. But what if as parents we teach our children early on that they are responsible for how they feel? Imagine the power we can instill in children if we teach them to say, “I am choosing to feel [insert feeling] right now.” Then we can acknowledge when they are choosing a negative or inferior feeling and allow them time and space to feel something more positive. Here’s the thing, if children feel empowered to make choices about how they feel when they are young, they will grow to understand that life is all about choice, and will feel empowered to make good choices.
Life isn’t something that happens to us, it is something we experience as we believe; it is the choices we make when challenging circumstances present themselves. Yes, there may be times when we make bad choices, but we are not defined by our bad choices. As the Course in Miracles teaches, we have free will and can choose again.
Another quote I like is by George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. Tweet this.“