I was reading the latest edition of Catholic Digest yesterday. The article, "We're in this together" by Colleen Duggan really got my attention. She wrote about 5 struggles Catholic parents face in raising Catholic children. I couldn't find a link to the article online, but I did find a similar article Colleen wrote in her blog that was adapted for the article. Click here to read Colleen's blog post.
What struck me the most in the article was the reminder that it's easy to make judgements when you don't know someone's heart. I have been very guilty of this in the past.....and sometimes in the present. It's easy to look at a situation and start to pick apart the actions/thoughts of a family member, friend, or stranger. I compare the decisions of others against what I think I would have decided if I was in the same circumstance.
Even more so, I was very guilty in the past of trying to convince those around me to make the choices I was making because I was insecure and wanted everyone to do what I was doing to prove that I had made the right choice.
That got ugly at times!
Trying to figure out the best choice for me in any given situation can be stressful! I always worry that I'm making the "wrong" choice. In reality, most of my decisions just have choices that are better than others and none of them are wrong. (Jay reminds me of this all.the.time!)
BTW....I'm not talking about Absolute Truths!
I'm talking about the angst over choosing the "right" car, or the "right" way to discipline, or the "right" limits to place on my teenagers, or the "right" way to deal with the toddler, or the "right" amount of time it's ok for me to be gone from the kids...etc. Most decisions have more than one "right" choice...the focus needs to be on figuring out the best choice at the time.
I have worked on being a more positive person over the past several years...thanks to the positive friends in my life that made me reconsider my...umm...more pessimistic tendencies! It is such hard work to be positive! Being negative, (an inherited trait), comes so easily that the neurons in my brain trip over themselves to try and switch to a more positive train of thought before I go down a very slippery negative slope!
Well, maybe not the neurons...idk what trips over themselves, really. It's been far too many years since I've taken a biology class! I apologize if I've created a science gaffe!
The following quote that I read today from the blog Positively Alene reminded me about Colleen Duggan's article. (Well, it reminded me I had read something that I really liked and wanted to remember and then I couldn't remember where I had read it and I spent 10 minutes searching through my in-box and my trash "box" trying to find it until I finally remembered I had read it in Catholic Digest! (Just yesterday, too! My poor sleep deprived brain!)
Anywho...here's the quote.......
"Your motives can only be understood by those close enough to know your heart desires. To all others you speak a foreign language."
To which I say, "amen"! And...I guess that's where the Holy Spirit comes in to help us speak and understand something we couldn't with just our own perspective! (I just need to remember to ask for understanding and then quiet myself enough to hear Him!)