I'm going to preface this article by saying that I am not a clinically licensed therapist, but I am well versed in love and forgiveness. There was a lot of trauma from my childhood rattling around in my head for decades. My kids often make mistakes that leave me on the line to fix them.
All of this is just part of parenting and becoming your own person, but it isn't easy. It requires a lot of practice and a fundamental change in mindset.
You really are your own biggest critic. That blessing can become a curse if you let it get out of hand. A wise man once said "holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die".
That might seem like hyperbole but the science behind that statement has been proven. Holding grudges isn't healthy for the mind, body, or soul. It's time to let that baggage go and I'm here to help.
Learning to forgive is the greatest life hack I know, but here are 10 parenting life hacks that you should know!
Self, Family, Others
In order to stop poisoning those around you, you'll need to stop poisoning yourself first and foremost. Only once you are in control of those negative thoughts can you start to move forward on eliminating those negative thoughts for those close to you.
The truth is that you'll never be able to completely stop people from poisoning themselves, but you can rest assured that you didn't exacerbate an already bad situation into a worse one.
Treating others with kindness and turning the other cheek is difficult. I don't manage to do it 100% of the time despite my best efforts, but acknowledging those shortcomings and insisting to myself that I will do better the next time is a huge step toward success.
"Is That True?"
A lot of the poison that gets spilled inside of our heads originates internally. Many people tend to criticize themselves. When my brain tells me that I'm incapable of this or too incompetent for that I try to catch myself.
Catching a negative statement from your own brain takes a lot of process but it does get easier with time. Once you catch those thoughts it's time to criticize the critic.
My favorite question to ask myself? "Is that really true?" In my experience almost every single one of these ugly statements is completely false. Guess what brain, I'm not incapable, because I've managed similar things before. Even if I've never experienced the specific situation, I've overcome more than my fair share of strange and new encounters and come out on top of the challenge.
Questioning your own thoughts is difficult but it leads to a level of self-awareness and self-reflection that seems almost superhuman. Knowing your own thoughts and motivations makes it much easier to discern the thoughts and motivations of others, and once you follow the line of logic it becomes much harder to hold a grudge.
Dissolving the Grudge
What's so bad about denying forgiveness? The harsh truth is that when you hold on to a grudge and let the negative feelings linger, you’re only causing yourself more harm. You will be holding yourself back from experiencing peace, hope, and joy. You’ll be bringing more stress to yourself for no real good reason.
Think of the person that you dislike most in the world, and attempt to see things from their point of view. It doesn't matter if you disagree with every line of logic, simply understanding an opposing point of view is a huge step in letting go of grudges.
Don't write off your own resentment but do move past it. If you can make a simple decision requiring no physical effort on your part that could bring you closer to peace of mind, why would anyone insist that it isn't worth it? Live. Laugh. Love!
Being Kind To Others
Now that I've got my own emotions somewhat in check and refuse to hold on to ugly feelings, the thing I'm perpetually working on is being kind in the moment. Throwing up a snarky or defensive response is a default for us as humans, but it certainly isn't conducive to building or maintaining good relationships with others.
Learning and growing. I was going to say it is as inevitable as death and taxes but looking around it's pretty clear that isn't the truth. Learning and growing takes serious practice and is never easy but it is undoubtedly something that we should all strive for.
At the end of the day, even if you meet a person with the stinkiest attitude in the world you can still make them smell sweeter on the outside with our bubblegum shoe deodorizer and grape shoe deodorizer! Sharing is one of the quickest ways to ingratiate yourself. Some people will refuse the kindness, but you can be satisfied just knowing that you made the effort to build that bridge.