As my wife and I raise two teenage children the concepts of my most recent blog post keep coming back to me, but in regards to our kids:
Are we the voice inside our head or are we the consciousness observing that voice in our heads?
Who are our children? Are they being guided by their inner voice or the voices around them? I worry because many times these voices are loud, criticizing and questioning them every day.
If I struggle with these voices at 52 years old, what must it be like to be a teenager today? There is so much stimulation and information coming at them at every moment. They are faced with hatred displayed by others through bullying. How does a young person deal in these types of environments when most adults are just as confused? We default to living a life based on others expectations.
I’m starting to believe that our children are our teachers, not the other way around. As I watch our son grow up I see myself in so many ways. I see the struggle to find self, the struggle to be what others expect, even when what they expect is not good for him. I see our daughter working so hard, knowing deep down who she is but not totally understanding the world around her.
Today, I feel the challenge of being a father and helping our children be the best versions of themselves when they don’t even know what that means. If I am first learning what it is to be “me,” how can we expect our teens to do the same? If they truly are our teachers, how do we learn from them?
There are many challenges such as these that cause us to face ourselves every day. My journey so far has been learning how to enjoy the ride of figuring out who I am, how to make the best of each day, and how to leave this planet better than I found it. It is a struggle, but the days of struggle are the ones that shape us into who we truly are.
On our global journey I wrote a post titled No Bad Days. If I am true to my story, these days of struggle are what life is all about. My wife, kids and I will look back at these days and smile knowing how much closer we became to each other. For in the end, its not what we took from this planet, it’s what we give back. I thank my kids for the reminder to give back an abundance of love, understanding and acceptance no matter how many voices surround us.
To a life well lived!