Single Parent Faith

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Each of us a Mosaic Worthy of Discovery

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.” – Martha Graham

I happened upon this image and was taken by it. I got to thinking how this mosaic is a metaphor to describe our lives— the depth and breadth each of us contains. Not one piece alone defines us, but the unique pattern which emerges as we accumulate experiences and express dreams, desires, and talents, is what highlights our individuality.

Recently while attending a volunteer effort, this guy struck up a conversation with me. He seemed interested in me, because he made it a point to find me again and continue the conversation. We talked again in the days that followed, yet what struck me, was the fact that he always seemed to stay at a shallow level with his dialogue.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Humanity Revealed through our Vulnerabilities

“In the beginning, people think vulnerability will make you weak, but it does the opposite. It shows you're strong enough to care.”
 –Victoria Pratt

I recall a few years back when a friend gave me a valuable piece of advice. She read something I wrote, and remarked that it could be better if I shared my vulnerabilities in the context of my writing. This advice proved to be applicable in all facets of my life.

This afternoon my daughter shared an experience with a friend, whereby her friend never shares any of her problems, worries, fears, or mistakes.

“Mom it’s like after a while of me talking, I just shut up because I don’t think she gets it.  Her silence tells me she doesn’t make mistakes. And so I don’t feel like telling her anything personal anymore.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Unhealthy Relationships— Purging the Bad, to Begin Anew

“What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.”Leo Buscaglia

At the intersection of change, one makes a bold and courageous decision to shed something or someone that no longer works in our lives. That no longer gifts, but instead dampens, oppresses, and slowly kills our spirit.

One must always reflect and allow oneself the opportunity to mull over what has just happened. To deny ourselves this opportunity only short-changes us, preventing our growth from this experience. Believe it or not, growth does result. From the pain and discomfort, seeds are planted that will sprout in the spring of our transformation. Just as this time will come, so too, this time today is here for us to understand what it brings.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parenting— Suspending Judgment

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”— Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Last night my teen daughter was in a talkative mood. There are times when she gets this way.  I have learned, that no matter how late it is, no matter how tired I am, when she gets in these moods, I show up fully “present” and “in the moment” for her. This means I don’t focus on anything but her and what she’s sharing.  All kids need to feel like they're our most important priority, and that what they think and feel matters.

She shared such incredible insight. I was in awe of her. Out of the mouth of this 17 yr old, were relationship concepts and observations, which if spoken by a mature woman you’d be aware you were in the presence of wisdom. It took me much later in life to awaken to many of the truths she shared last night. I sat in jaw dropping realization that this “child” of mine has most definitely grown leaps and bounds in the last few months. It was as if I was in the presence of a peer, not my child. It is in this moment that as a parent, I knew, that no matter what happens in life, “My baby will be alright!” 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Work— Managing Expectations

“Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.” –Ralph Marston

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ruin—Letting go of Fear to Make Room for Transformation

"Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."
—Elizabeth Gilbert (from “Eat, Pray, Love”) 

Lately I’ve been searching for the right words of encouragement to console a dear friend who is fearful of being laid off. At work, everywhere she turns, there are people talking about the impending layoffs that were recently announced. That is the thing about fear—and how it gains power over us—it is rooted in a present threat. 

I advised her to extract herself from these conversations when they occur. If she is a participant, she will only soak up the fear that is permeating the discussion.

I experienced this myself years ago when I first began to work in the Aerospace field. It is a particularly volatile field, with its cyclical share of layoffs throughout the years. Much like today, people rumoring and speculating surrounded me. Of course, I immediately felt I’d be targeted since I was one of the last hired and had no experience to speak of. I worried and worried. Then the layoff round was concluded, and no one in my organization was impacted. That’s when I realized that I spent all this valuable time and energy worrying about something that never occurred.

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”—Matthew 6:27