summer of love 2017 — week 6

See the negative in your children.


Well….not quite. Not really. Not in the way you think.

Let’s go back a few years. Remember when cameras had film in them? And you had to take the film somewhere to be developed? And then you had to waaaaait to see what the pictures looked like? When you were finally able to pick them up, you got two things—the photographs and the negatives. The photos looked, more or less, like the scene you wanted to capture. But the negatives? Areas of the picture that hardly caught your attention stood out starkly, and the focal point of the picture was often lost in hazy gloom. A negative looked like an x-ray into an unknown world.

Week 6 is all about seeing your kids negatively. To look at your ordinary experiences with your kids, your ordinary thoughts about who your kids are, and then, see them from the negative side. So whatever feels like darkness, see the bright. When you think “Are you kidding? She can never…” or “Uggggh, this? Again? He’s always….” Take those and flip them. See them through the negative.

What does that look like? Here’s an example. Our son recently had a big decision to make. One that would impact next year, and potentially, years to come. And he dragged his feet. He hemmed. He hawed. He wasn’t really sure. And the clock was ticking. And I might have been getting a bit ticked. And I might have gotten myself all up in his story about how it always takes him a long time with new things, and he never jumps right in.

Then, I remembered to see it through the negative. Instead of lamenting that he needs to learn to decision make faster, I realized I have a teenage boy who takes his time to make life-altering decisions. That being reflective instead of impulsive is a fabulous trait, especially during the years when strategic planning isn’t the brain’s strong suit. That allowed me to embrace him for who he is, but see him from the other side.

And then, interestingly, when another big decision popped up, he made it a bit faster. Before I even knew it was happening.

What did happen?

When we change what we see, we change how we think, and when we change how we think, we change how we feel, and when we change how we feel, we change how we respond, and when we change how we respond…it changes how our kids feel. How they feel about how we feel about who they are.

Which gives them a new way to see themselves. And that thing that seemed immoveable, or unstoppable, or just not fun at all, becomes ever-so-slightly moveable or changeable or grow-able. In tiny ways. Which is what matters. (Remember that tiny is our goal during the Summer of Love.)

So this week, whatever looks dark, see the light. Whatever feels heavy, make light. Whatever worries you, set it free. Because the picture that is in front of you is only one way to tell the story. Instead, see the negative.



p.s. This may remind you a bit of week 2, Seeing the Invisible Good. You’re right. It is similar. Seeing the Negative is taking us one (tiny) step further into change.

p.p.s. You’d read my story, I’d love to hear yours. Drop me an email or come join us on our Facebook page to talk about what this week looked like for you.

Want to (re)read weeks 1-5? Week 1 was Doing Just One Thing, Week 2 we practiced Seeing the Invisible Good, and week 3 we got personal, it was All About You. week 4? It’s been a favorite #feelingsbeforefacts. And week 5? a reminder to breathe.

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