Raising three boys has given me many opportunities to console heart broken boys after their older brother had destroyed their painstaking creations. The scene was predictable…proud child standing before his giant tower of Legos looking with admiration at his masterpiece, while older brother saw it as an opportunity to practice his sword wielding and pillaging skills. “MOMMMMMMM, He just ruined my tower!” Being the exceptional parent that I was, I would exhale loudly, finish the last of my Snickers Bar, mumble something under my breath like, “this is why people hire nanny’s” Then yell back “It’s life, get over it. Nothing lasts forever. Just build another one!” What can I say, I have always been a nurturer. Who knew I would be setting the stage for my own lessons learned?
“Sorry I ruined our lives.” My initial reaction was, “Yep, it’s ruined. This is not at all what I wanted, hoped for, or imagined.” But I paused and thought, It’s only ruined if I don’t rebuild it. Like a destroyed Lego tower, or a sand castle taken out by the tide, destruction is only the final outcome if that is how you leave it. It’s not going to look the same, or feel the same, but what ever was destroyed doesn’t have to remain in ruins; it can be rebuilt. We all have to do it. Whether it is a relationship, a career, our parenting, or our health, we all have to start over sometime. We have to put the scattered pieces back together. It would be nice if all the emotions that come with having something ruined were easily handled. I wish I didn’t have to make the choice every morning not to be angry or bitter. It would be a relief not to have to face the fear of the unknown. And, I certainly would not miss the sadness. Unfortunately the emotions are a natural result of a fallen world, and come with the rebuilding process; whether we like it or not.
Thankfully for my boys, my parenting was a little better than what I described. Though I am sure they could write their own blog of all I did wrong. I would validate the anger and the sadness, and encourage the rebuilding and the forgiveness.(Then I would usually look for some more chocolate) So that is what I am going to continue to do. I am going to deal with the negative emotions, forgive, and rebuild. Don’t leave things in ruins. As you rebuild, sometimes you find out it wasn’t the end; but the beginning.
P.S. It may seem obvious to you, but I was reminded again this morning that the rebuilding is piece by scattered piece. When I get discouraged, I need to be thankful for what pieces have been restored, not dwell on the fact that I’m not farther along in the rebuilding process. ( Thanks for the insight and the cupcake, Margaret)