Strengthen your soul and be inspired
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
” Helen Keller
I can relate to what Helen Keller was saying. Actually, not only can I relate to it, I have experienced trial and suffering firsthand. It is very difficult to believe that suffering is good for our souls. And if any parent was asked what they dream of for their kids, it would be happiness, not suffering.
Even with an abundance of love, the best of intentions, and all the parenting experience there is, life happens, trials are experienced and families are challenged. I am speaking about myself here. First and most importantly, I love my kids. I also have taught parenting classes at YouthZone for nearly two decades, I coach parents, and I teach workshops. My training is extensive, my experience complete. Or so I thought. My husband and I have three wonderful, brilliant kids, just like all of you. And if I am right, all of us are gaining our most valuable learning from the experiences we have with our kids, not from a book.
Yes, I have to refer to the quote from Helen Keller quite often. Sometimes I have to close my eyes and breathe and remember them crawling across the floor or hear their belly laugh when the seven dwarfs appear on TV. I want to capture their innocence again, the smiles and hiccups, the hopes and dreams. Then I open my eyes and here we are in the trial I never thought would happen to us. I go through all the stages, denial, grief, anger … finally acceptance.
What I have learned is that acceptance is an inspiring place to be. It means that I have hope, and I finally see things clearly. It means that now when I close my eyes, I can smile and laugh at my silly thought that I was a perfect parent and that I would never have to experience trials. I can throw my head back and belly laugh because I know that this trial is not negative, but rather an opportunity to push beyond and to love my kids in a way that I was unable to before. I am inspired and realize that they will find their way. My job is to let them.
Every one of us needs support at different times when raising our children. The benefit of working at YouthZone is that all I had to do was call across the hallway. All you have to do is reach for the phone.
I am excited to see my children’s soul strengthened, begin to see what they see as their vision clears and they are inspired. I want to see them experience success and be there to celebrate.
What is it you want for your kids? If you are a parent who needs support, all you have to do is reach for that phone and call YouthZone, 945-9300.
Lori Mueller is YouthZone program director.
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