Friday, August 7, 2009

Stories; Yours and Theirs

If you want to give your children, family and friends a true gift, give them your story! I realized this by listening to my children detail what they interpreted of my story. In reality they were telling their stories from being with me from their view. I would catch myself saying to myself, as if I was crazy, who are they talking about! That wasn't who I was, what I was feeling or saying. It was puzzling to hear them or figure out why they felt the way they did. But I realized this was their story with me in it.

Just as a writer develops their characters, it was interesting to hear the life they had given my character in their life story. It caused me to look back at the fact and fiction of my character. In looking at the facts at the heart of my character of me, I realized there were very little realities in their character of me that actually was drawn from me.(children often make our character fictious to suite their acceptance or denial;remember your parents?) I became content when I realized that my oldest child, missed about 18 years of info by the time she drew a serious opinion of me at 15. My second child lost about 23 years of my life by the time she got her strong opinions at 15. My third child lost about 25 years of my story before he got to the point of his life whereby I knew nothing.

The way I came by this equation was. You take the age you were when you birthed your children into the world, and realize that by the time they start developing your character in their stories of who you have been to them for the first 15 years of their lives, they don't know who, where or how you got to be that person that they think they know. They form an opinion with very little facts, and then start drawing the character they called mom or dad. Remember, that at this stage of their lives, they also want very little to do with history, because that old stuff, that doesn't matter anyway, because that's the past! They don't understand how the past connects to the present, but you do. That's why it's important for you to tell your story, because when they get old enough to look back to realize that their stories and your friends, family etc… do not mesh together from their view, they’ll understand why. You can fill in all the missing pieces (all those details that filled out that character they called mom or dad) or allow second hand information from family and friends fill in the gap. Never underestimate the power of stories, especially your own!

I can remember when my children were raised by the tenement of, “…if you spare the rod, you spoil the child”. Of course this was before all the laws were put in place, whereby if you discipline your child(with spankings) it could be considered abuse. I remember all of Dr. Spock's theories of child rearing, spanking less, explaining more intellectually. (Time out:-). I did a little of both, whatever was necessary, a balance was the goal. I am all for progressive thinking, it's just that you have to understand the hand you were dealt and what is needed. Now, that's wisdom! (Just my opinion!).

A lot of parents today do not appreciate any of the values and wisdom in yesterday's application of discipline. You have to know how to interpret yesterday's message for today's world. If you spare the discipline, you will spoil the child. What does that mean? It's kind of like reading the handwriting on the wall. You need to see the signs and act accordingly. If you come upon spoiled food, what does that bring into your mind? Rotten, stinking, obnoxious, something you just want to get rid of, quick and in a hurry! Ask your schoolteachers, how they feel about something that is spoiled. That's the way it is with some of our children without guidance and discipline, others just want to get rid of them period. Who do you want to emanate in your training?

These are some things that I thought would benefit our communities and help to establish bridges if we will see the value in our stories. The next generation is beginning to gather the missing pieces, and that shows progression. May all our stories be heard if the recipe will be complete. In a recipe if I miss a spice, it will not be the same outcome, it will be something else. Enjoy the gathering and reaffirmation of your families, stories.

(I wonder now if Spock was an abused child or got lots of spankings; explaining his theories). I question sometimes if all that theory was studied as to the outcome miles down the road. Looking at this generation with hindsight it is questionable as to appreciation and respect. The question is; did the spankings create respect for consequences with lasting impressions of pain from the wrong choices or not? Are there right and wrong choices or are there only decisions about what you want to experience to grow and develop, at what and whose expense? That’s how we come to who is telling the story. Everyone has their own role in our life stories and depending on who is telling it the characters can change positions and opinions. That’s the power of words to change history according to who’s telling the story. Who will tell your story? Compare the facts by speaking out!

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