Is this in your way?

 In find peace in parenting

Recently I found myself walking into a public restroom with a grin on my face.  You see, I spent the first 40 years of my life avoiding public restrooms at all costs.  I always thought they were disgusting and it just seemed better to endure a stomach ache from a full bladder until I got home than venture into a dirty, gross bathroom that probably didn’t have any toilet paper anyway.

Then, a few years ago my husband and I went to Mexico to celebrate our anniversary.  On our way to visit some ancient Mayan ruins I encountered something that sent me in search of a restroom before we even met our tour guide.  And, as my husband enjoyed learning about Mexican culture and history, I was learning to appreciate public restrooms.

Interestingly, I had never been so grateful for a public restroom in my life… even though this one was dark and dank; even though only one toilet in the entire restroom included a toilet seat; and even though it didn’t smell very well.  There was always toilet paper, though (for which I gave a very nice tip on my 17th and final visit, to the lady who kept it stocked).

While my Montezuma’s revenge eventually left, my new-found appreciation for public restrooms didn’t ~ and that’s why I found myself smiling the other day as I walked into a stall in a public restroom.

You see, nothing has really changed about public restrooms.  Most of the ones I’ve used since my Mexico experience aren’t usually as clean as I would like them.  Sometimes it’s so dark I’m not really even sure what’s all around me.  Often times the smell is enough to trigger my gag reflex.  But now I’m always grateful they are there when I need one ~ especially if there’s toilet paper ;).

Do you ever find yourself believing that you can never be happy again until your situation has changed?  That you can’t feel good or have peace until your son embraces the life you want him for him?

It’s easy to assume it’s the circumstances in your life that create your experience in the world, but in reality, it’s really your thinking that creates your experience.

There are definitely things that happen in our lives that we have no control over (i.e., other people, our past).  But we always have control over what we think about what’s going on; we do have control over what we make those things mean.

But… do you even know what you’re thinking?  If you often find yourself thinking, “I have no control over what’s going on in my head” or if you live your life mostly reacting to what’s going on, it’s because you’re simply not aware of what you’re thinking (this doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, though; it simply means you’re human).

Awareness of what’s going on in your mind is the vital first step because then you can decide if you want to keep thinking that way.  Your brain is so efficient so it likes to keep thinking the same way it always has ~ even when it’s not serving you.  Awareness allows you to understand your own thought patterns and then decide if you want to keep them.

This week I challenge you to sit for 10-15 minutes and write down the thoughts you have about your relationship with your son.  Try not to worry about what you think you should be thinking or feeling.  Allow yourself to be real about what’s going on for you as you worry about your son and the choices he’s making.

If you find these thoughts aren’t helping you find peace or the answers you are searching for, then spend some time figuring out what you want to think about what’s going on.  But not in a “positive thinking” kind of way; find something that is believable and feels good.

And if you need help figuring any of this out, send me an email ( and let me know where you’re stuck.  Finding peace is possible… even in your situation.

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