How many times have I asked myself this question? By now, one would think I would know better, because as soon as the thought has formulated in my brain or the words have escaped my mouth – the answer comes. And usually, it is ‘Yes!’ things can and do get worse.
I am certain this happens to others and when I step back and take a look, I see that the ‘worse’ that happened gave me pause to realize I didn’t have it so bad when I was in the midst of complaining or participating in my very own pity-party.
Looking at this in view of recent happenings in one’s personal world as well as the world at large is the intention of the quote on this page: Disasters are diving intervention in disguise. Allow me to share a few thoughts on this phrase.
A personal illustration two of teenage cousins decided they had ‘had enough’ of the restrictions the parents dole out. They planned a get-away to teach their parents a lesson: parents are not in charge! These boys were expected to do household and yard chores, they both had phones, bikes (not old enough to drive yet), all the latest in electronic toys and were fairly unrestricted in terms of where they could go or when they needed to be home. So, after initiating an argument with each of their parents, they implemented their ‘great escape’. Yup, they ran away from home. The disaster here is at least two-fold: the boys felt their world was unfair, too many expectations, not enough freedom; the parents felt the boys were ungrateful for the privileges given, disrespectful in their words and action, unappreciative for their lifestyle. Two families in flux!
It’s interesting that the disaster here is seen as the boys running away (and to alleviate concerns of anyone reading – they are safe and no longer run-away). In reality, the disaster is the precursor to the action. What I mean is this – the emotions of unfair, lack of freedom, expectations, ungratefulness, disrespect and unappreciative – these are the disaster! So much attention and energy is expended on the things we don’t have, that we are blind to that which is right in front of us and the capacity to demonstrate gratitude and appreciation.
You may ask: what is the divine intervention? Some may call it divine intervention, for others it is known as a wake-up call, and it also may be known as that voice inside your head that finally gets your attention! Regardless of what you call it, it is something that causes you to pause and become aware.
Let me take you back to the run-away instance. This voice/feeling, it is the thought-process and actions taken immediately as well as in the aftermath of the action of running away. There is concern and worry for both the boys and their parents. All are concerned about safety, well-being, how long to be gone, what would happen, will the boys be found, will the parents dole out punishment if the boys return home, what are the consequences, what will (or not) change going forward. The list seems endless.
Divine intervention is the boys and parents taking pause, thinking about the reality of the situation and what may have caused things to get to the point of the running away action. Divine intervention is that tap-on-the-shoulder that asks: Hey, what is really going on here? Let’s take a good look at what is really important and how you are acting and/or reacting. It is that slow-motion reality that provides you with the chance to experience a moment of clarity. It is the breathing space that is calm and open. It may be momentary – but what in life isn’t? The important thing is that you look at it and see it for what is true. That you act upon that pause and shift to expose and resolve the underlying concern(s).
What is it that you (in this illustration the boys and parents) are willing to do differently? How will you respond to the divine intervention? What choices and actions will you commit to in order to steer clear of such a disaster in the future? What would it be like to become aware of the tap-on-the-shoulder and respond in advance of the threat rather than know it only after the disaster hits and then react? Are you willing to pause and hear and experience your wisdom before disasters?
Can it get worse? Only if you allow it.
What is divine interaction? It is your Voice of Wisdom aching to be heard.
It may be hard to believe that summer is nearly over. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that soon we will be preparing for fall. The warm summer days, picnics, baseball games and lawn mowing season is quickly fading. I know this to be true, because of what I see at the store. The shelves are filled with pens, crayons, paper, notebooks, rulers and all the required needs for those back to school shoppers. Lunch boxes and thermos bottles (can you believe they still have thermos bottles!) and backpacks scream from every end-cap. I’ve never seen so many boxes of Little Debbie snacks and huge boxes of snack size chips. Yes, it is true – it’s time for that first day of school!
This is really a tough time for kids (of all ages).
There are kids who are just starting kindergarten or who have been promoted to one of the ‘big’ schools or perhaps they have moved and are starting in a new school. For this group, there is almost a giddy anticipation coupled with a nervous excitement of a new and thrilling and scary adventure. It’s as though they want to keep one foot on the familiar and can barely hold back the joy of diving into something new.
And there is the group who are starting a new level, likely at the same school. They look forward to seeing classmates again and wonder how the homework will be and will there be any new kids in class. The routine is familiar and perhaps there is nothing much to look forward to. Unless, of course, now they are at the highest level and get to be the ‘bosses’!
For some kids, they will be repeating last year’s work again. They are likely hopeful no one will recognize them. They may wonder if the teachers will remember if they caused trouble last year! They may be wondering if this time, they will be able to pass, or if they will get the help they need – because they really are smart! Perhaps the good will carry forward and the not-so-good will be wiped clean!
Finally, there are the parents. Some are relieved to hear the school bell sound. Finally, summer break is over and now we can get back into a routine! Some parents will be as nervous as their children – at least for that first full day – full of worry and wonder how their little (or nearly grown one) is doing on his/her first day. What do you think goes through a parent’s mind: Will they fit-in; will they have friends; I wonder if there will be homework; I wonder if I will be able to help my child; do I remember long division; will they eat lunch; did they get enough sleep last night; do they know which bus to get on…The questions seem endless!
What can parents or the adults in a child’s life do to help make this back-to-school ritual a great jumping off point for our children? Oh, there is much to do, and somehow most of it gets done.
What I see that is more important than doing is how we can BE with and for them; that is how we are being in relationship with our kids. Take a moment to reflect on your relationship with your children. What does it ‘look like’ when you are caring, encouraging and kind? How would your child describe when you show-up as honest, hopeful and creative? When do you demonstrate being a parent who is loving, passionate and alive?
What would it be like for you to make a list of how you are being these attributes – then, ask your children to do the same about you? Of course, after you do this for you – do it for them and have them repeat the task for themselves. I promise, this will make very interesting conversation and a thought-provoking foundation as you send them off on the mountains they will climb.