Ever wonder why we are so often at odds with some members of our family? Even happy loving families have their issues when they wonder what went wrong with some or all members of their families. When I was in grade school, I used to lie in bed at night wondering if there would ever be a week when I didn’t get into trouble.
I would think “what’s wrong with me? Who wouldn’t love to have a child like me? I do what I’m told, I have good manners, I love my parents; it’s only that sometimes I get into trouble. I don’t mean to, but I do.”
Don’t get me wrong; I had good parents who taught me right from wrong. I was also taught life skills that helped me to become independent and to be able to live on my own. I realize now that the trouble I got into was a worry to my parents, and they bore down hard on me to make me strong and understand that there are always consequences to our actions.
In fact, every person I have met in my life has influenced me and has helped me to be who I am today. Am I perfect? Hardly. Am I right all the time? Mostly never. Do I try my best to be the best me I can be? Nope, not all the time. I am like everyone else, struggling to be better and to meet my potential.
What I keep in my mind on a daily basis is this: I had the parents I needed to get me where I am today. Even when I endured a harsh punishment, I learned from it. I was lucky to have parents who taught me boundaries and how to live well within them. I may not have always agreed with them, but when the time came, I realized that I was ready for that first job, that first apartment, that first taste of living life on my own.
Wherever we come from, whatever family we are born into, there is a reason for it. Our lives may not seem perfect at the time, but as time goes on we realize that even a harsh growing-up teaches us. It reminds me of courses I’ve taken over the years; some enrich us and expand our thinking, some just about break us.
You can see this phenomenon in nature all the time; a tiny seed buried between two mighty oaks may struggle to reach the sun, but it will try with all its energy to do so. Eventually it may become taller, stronger and healthier than the two oaks. Sometimes it is the struggle that makes us strong.
Sometimes we get the people we need to help us get strong.