Imagine yourself sitting in your chair, listening to others seemingly unable to come to a mutual decision. At times, the conversation turns to bickering and even borders on erupting into a full-on argument.

What do you do?

Listening to my kids argue over our plans for the day used to drive me to distraction. Eventually, it would come to a point where I’d dive into the conversation and decide, period. End of discussion. Often, the end of the discussion would coincide with the ending of my enthusiasm for whatever it was we were about to do.

For years, I got wrapped up in their dissent and made it my own. This had the unfortunate effect of reducing my quality of experience. Little did I realize, however, that the problem really wasn’t with their discussion (no matter how dysfunctional it seemed to my curmudgeonly mind at the time); the problem was with how I was choosing to identify with it.

In making their situation mine, I took on issues and events that not only were unnecessary, they really weren’t my business, either. It took me a long while to realize that letting them work out their own issues to their satisfaction was not only reducing my stress, it was doing them the service of letting them develop better communication and conflict-resolution skills.

Parenting, therefore, is more about learning to let go and letting them learn than it is to decree and teach.

Back to the decisions for a moment. Two of three kids have decided that we’re going for a very long walk. One of the three has decided that, despite the wonderful weather, she’d rather stay home and study. I tried tickling her into coming with us on the walk, but she’s resolute. Okay. I’m okay with that.

Part of me is a little disappointed that we’re not all going out together, but I know, deep down inside, that the day will unfold exactly as it should. And that in itself could be considered to be living intentionally.

Peace, love and light to all.

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