Twenty years ago when I imagined what life would be like with children, I didn’t realize how many demands motherhood required. Nor did I know that my influence would not always produce the outcomes I anticipated either. One day in particular comes to mind when the kids were about five and three. I was daydreaming about taking them out on an adventure and thought about all the things I needed to pack in order for us to get out the door. I was actually really looking forward to finally getting out and doing something different. In a split second, there was no way I was going to make it happen.
All I could think of was how I was supposed to move through the rest of the day with vitality and purpose when feeling so disappointed.
I was so excited to get out of the house and the idea of the kids experiencing something new excited me more. Accepting that I had to switch gears and cancel our outing was so disappointing! When I recognized my negative thoughts around my disappointment I knew I needed to make a conscious effort to stay positive but I really didn’t feel like thinking that way. I just wanted to carry that bad attitude for a while!
I have read that practicing presence of mind helps one move in the direction of their desires.
But that afternoon, I wasn’t practicing that! Well, at least in a positive light. I let the change of direction take hold of my attitude and indirectly my kids bared the brunt of that. When I had some time to reflect I did think of how I could react differently next time. I also learned a big lesson through it all because I had already been experiencing quite a bit of this with the age of my kids. But this time was different. I noticed that I didn’t like how I was acting. I was feeling so disengaged and I wanted to get out of the funk I was in.
The desires of my heart did not match my behavior.
At this point all I could think about was how I like the thoughts that excite and engage. And I love meeting my children with presence of mind because it allows me to genuinely engage in conversation with meaning, purpose, love and intention. The approach with eye-to-eye contact influences a much better outcome than one half-hearted or distracted .
I knew I needed to change my mind.
I also had to remember that shepherding children takes courage, selfless acts and a commitment to helping them grow and become what they were intended for. If I rest my eyes on the Lord our God and focus on His promises, listening to those precious details he only tells me, it helps me engage with confidence, courage and His lead. It was then that my thoughts had transformed and a powerful peace of mind overcame me. In that moment, my presence of mind had changed.
Have you ever felt that way? How did you overcome?