There’s a point when the past is over, and the future is unknown. It’s called the now. Most spiritual leaders encourage us to stay in the now. If we could get our heads out of the way, it is pleasant. Yes, pleasant.
The thoughts we entertain can create a level of uncertainty, fear, anger, upset, worry; you name it. We can let our emotions lead the way and bring discord into our lives.
It’s normal to project about the future, but these teachers remind us we cannot know the future and there is not much we can do about it from where we are on the time continuum.
How do we navigate this in our own lives? How do we help our children deal with this in theirs?
We’ve all lived through times of uncertainty and come out the other side. As adults, we have the benefit of hindsight to grasp the bigger picture in order to see the way this or that circumstance fits into the puzzle of our lives.
When we tell our children everything is going to be all right, do we know it to be true?
In adulthood, many of us find it a challenge to wait. Younger children find this even more of a challenge. Time feels longer in childhood.
Time spent waiting seems to stretch on far beyond their ability to endure and conclude slower than they may like. Without the experiential context of an adulthood and longer life lessons, waiting for outcomes is more intense. This is a part of the depth of feelings we experience in childhood.
When we think about a child who is perhaps 5 years old, a year is 20% of their life. When we think about a 50-year-old person, a year is only 2%. In addition to the sense of how slow or fast time passes, as we age we have some mental and emotional maturity that helps us to see situations from a larger perspective.
Children are doing the best they can in any situation. When the future is uncertain, help them experience their lives from their own vantage point.
It is helpful to allow them to have considerable grace-periods to deal with their emotions, their reactions, and their behavior.
Some life lessons are hard. Sit with them in their fear. In their uncertainty. In their discomfort. Offer reassurance and let them know you care. What’s better than that?
Remember to watch your own thoughts. Consider whether they contribute to your sense of wellbeing or unnerve your peace of mind.