When Life Gives You Teachable Moments…

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” 

~Author Unknown 

In being a mother there are always those moments where you just sit back and let your child learn their hard lessons on their own, usually the hard way.  However, there are other times when you see your child going through some of the same things that you may have went through when you were around their age, and you want to just stop them and advise them with your experience as their guide.  The lessons don’t always sink in, but you still want to take that moment and make it a teachable one.  

While it may not make sense to them at that moment, much like you did when you got older, they will see the value in that lesson when they least expect it.  Every now and then, you will even teach yourself those same lessons all over again while trying to impart wisdom on them.  

Recently I have been trying to help my daughter deal with the issue of being teased and picked on and bullied at school by her classmates.  It’s been painful to see her go from loving to go to school and learn new things to hating the fact that she has to go because of those very kids in her class.  I try my best to help her try and find ways to deal with the situation but so far, nothing has really stuck.  

I even try to use my experience of having gone through the exact same things when I was in elementary school and having to learn the ways to deal with it the hard way and it seems to help her for about a week (if that) but then she started acting out in class (which is completely unlike her) in response to her classmates bothering her.  When she tries to blame whatever they did to antagonize her for the reason why she chose to act out in class, I make sure to let her know that no one else is responsible for her actions but her.  

I remind her that she is supposed to know what’s right and wrong and that no matter what someone else does to her, she knows the appropriate ways to respond and that acting out is not one of them.  She cries that she doesn’t understand why they are mean to her and because I don’t know why, I just tell her that she can’t control how people feel or what they do, but she can control how she reacts to them.  

I reminded her of how much she loves school, and loves to learn new things and that she shouldn’t allow the children in her class to have that much power over her.  As I was telling her this I began to remind myself of the very same thing with certain negative people in my life.  

I spent a lot of time in my youth worried about what everyone was going to say about me.  I worried whether people were going to like me and I went out of my way doing things (not extremely terrible things) that were out of character for me because I wanted certain people to like me.  It worked a lot of the times but then I never really knew if it was me who they liked or just the person I was pretending to be for them.  

Even though I don’t bother pretending for anyone anymore, there are certain people, one in particular, that I still find myself wanting their approval.  But having to try and teach my daughter to not allow other people to dictate what she does or who she is, I realize that that lesson is not just for her, it’s one that I am still not finished learning.  

A person’s negativity only has power over you if you allow it to and you should never, no matter who that person is, allow someone to have that much control over what you do or how you feel.  No matter if that person is the closest of friends or even a family member you can not allow that person’s actions or words dictate yours.   

We are all responsible for our own actions and choices, and yes, our inaction as well.  If we allow someone’s hurtful words or behavior to keep us down and keep us from doing something that we know in our heart is right then we can not place the blame on them.  No one can have that kind of power over you unless you give them that power.  

What we do or don’t do; the dreams we carry out or don’t carry out; are our own responsibilities and no one else’s.  It may be wrong for someone to purposely try and tear us down but we are the only ones that can allow them to succeed.           

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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The Power of Influence

What has happened is not nearly as important as what can happen.  Look to the possibilities of your future for direction, forsaking the burdensome limitations of your past.

~Keith D. Harrell

I was thinking the other day about all of the obstacles that I am going through right now and how much I seem to be struggling lately.  I was replaying in my mind what influences led me to this point and why I am inadvertently stuck here.  I was asking myself (okay maybe I was actually talking to God- and yes I know you are not supposed to question him) when it was going to be my turn for things to go right.  When would all of the efforts that I am putting into making my dreams become a reality finally pay off?  It finally dawned on me (or maybe God was answering my question), why am I just sitting here wondering when my opportunity was going to come.  I realized that while I am waiting for opportunity to knock at my door, opportunity just may be walking by waiting for me to come get it.  It’s not about the luck that flows into your life that you sit and wish that you had.  It is about the good fortune that you go out and create for yourself.

Every aspect of your life influences you.  All of your past accomplishments as well as your past disappointments have influenced how you chose to live your life.  I believe that the people who are supposed to shape your lives when you are younger like your parents, siblings, good friends can only be your crutch for so long.  If you had a childhood that wasn’t ideal or was just downright traumatizing, how long do you get to pull that card as your excuse as to why you aren’t where you are supposed to be today?  Yes those events in your life do matter and they do share a portion of the blame.  However there comes a time when those events have to become your motivation and not your destruction. 

I am not saying this as someone who does not need to realize this herself.  I have blamed my mother for quite some time now as to my life not turning out quite the way that I wanted it to (at least not yet anyway).  I have attributed my lack of belief in myself to the fact that I didn’t have a mother who believed in me, or loved me for that matter, and I have essentially let it become my crutch.  What I have not done until now is realized that if she doesn’t believe in me and doesn’t see my potential then that is her misfortune.  What I should’ve done all of this time is come to grips with the fact that her lack of faith in my abilities is because of something that she lacks within herself and that it’s not something wrong with me. 

So now that I have realized that, I am going to use her negativity and relentless attempts to belittle me, fuel the drive that I have to become exactly what she thinks I can’t.  I am not going to let her disbelief in me continue to influence the belief that I have in myself.  The power of influence is strong.  It is sometimes relentless.  It is determined.  What you have to figure out is which influences you are going to adhere to.  How are you going to let those moments in your life shape who you become?  How are you going to keep your past from remaining your present, and more importantly, from becoming your future?  Are you ready to cast out the negative influences in your life and reach out to hold onto the positive ones?  How much power do your influences hold over you?

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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