Good Morning Friends! This weekend, my family went camping at a family member’s house. We were gravely in need of trees, space, sunshine, water and time to recharge. All of those things were plentiful, yet somewhere ticking like a time bomb inside were the words, ‘expectation’ and ‘deadline’ running through my head. As our time was coming to a close, my agitation bubbled and popped. Amidst all of the peace, I snapped at my son who was having trouble asking for what he wanted. Seeing his face crumble broke my heart. I felt like a monster in a monastery as he walked away with his shoulders slumped as soft tears coursed down his cheeks.
Before I tried to do anything else, I stopped myself.
Slowly, I repeated the mantra:
I am human. I am not a monster. I can do better.
Sigh. Pause. Regroup.
As the heat in my body dissipated, I walked towards the chicken coop where I found my son holding a chicken. His tears had dried and a hint of a smile was perched on his lips. As I watched him, a book that we had read together long ago popped in my head. In this children’s story by Jon Muth (The Three Questions), the author presents a compelling story of a young boy’s struggle to make decisions amidst the chatter of expectations and unknowns. In the heat of the story, the boy needs to make some decisions for himself in the heat of the moment. Unclear as to wether his choices were right, a sage helps him to define how his actions helped him to do the next right thing by retracing his steps to see if his actions met these three questions:
What is the best time to do things?
Who is the most important one?
What is the right thing to do?
Watching my son, the ‘to do’ list faded. The answers to these questions became strong and clear in the look on his face and the peace in his body. The best time to do my list was later. The most important one was the one I was with: him. The right thing to do was to be present and not resent.
So, dear friend, the next time you feel disheartened or like you have faltered, try pausing, remind yourself that you are human, and try asking yourself these three questions to get your feet back on the ground rather than stomping around in your head. With love, humility and possibility…..always-
Sharon and your TYC Tribe