Games People Play

When we think back to our youth, do you ever realize how many silly power struggles you engaged in? With your parents, with your siblings, with your friends, with your co-workers, with your teachers, with your bosses, and so on? I would be a rich man if I could go back and correct all of those times where I put my foot in my mouth or tried to “show them” my maturity level by running away from a conflict rather than hunkering down and facing the situation head on.

We use emotional restraint in our adulthood to make it through. You may be unhappy with something a co-worker did or something your child said in a fit of anger, but you have the control to think something in your mind without releasing the words out of your mouth. You make a conscious decision just to not engage in those power plays anymore.

I guess I learned at an early age that running away physically to get attention isn’t the best tactic to solve your problems. In fact, it helped my parents shape a stronger, structured environment. They needed to know my friends and the parents of my friends before I was allowed to hang out with them. I couldn’t just randomly hang out in downtown areas after school- they would give me daily chores or when I was a teenager, I had an after school job that would keep me busy until the evening time.

I’m thankful that when I did have problems to face, they encouraged me to talk things out, write it out on paper, consult with others- to believe in the art of using my mind to reach resolutions- even if only on a temporary basis. Right now what seems to be frustrating is watching my two daughters struggle with the art of problem solving. Part of this is their age- another part of this is their inability to trust others because of their early years of self-reliance. As they get older, the ability to keep them safe from their choices becomes tougher, as many segments of society aren’t as forgiving as they may have been 3-5 years ago.

My wife and I have been building a relationship with them that we want to be one of the first resources when they feel like they need help. At the same time, we aren’t going to be run over by their impulsive actions. They need to learn the art of tough love. There are consequences- both good and bad- to every action and decision we make in life. You could end up going down the happiest path in the world or your journey could take you to dark, dismal days. Focus your energy though on yourself and look at what you can do to get out of the holes in life you may be digging into.

It’s fine to ask for help. It’s fine to start a new journey. It’s fine to gain the education and the wisdom you lack. No human being knows it all, has seen it all, or lived it all. We are constantly growing and changing each day. Let’s focus on being real more and less circling around what we truly desire and want out of life. The sooner we get to that, the sooner we can attain all of our dreams, goals and hopes.

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