This evening I had a heart to heart with my 12 year old boy/girl twins about the mind, heart, body and spirit/soul.
What prompted the conversation was an interaction they were having where they were being slightly disrespectful towards one another. They were in their rooms and I in mine. I'm overhearing the back and forth power play for about 45 minutes.
Then their father called on the phone from work to check on the progress of the evening. Neither one would answer the phone. Instead they argued and demanded the other to get it, to the point where they missed the call altogether.
This scene is not earth shattering. It may even qualify as a "typical" preteen interaction. One that could easily be dismissed as harmless.
However, something stirred in my spirit where I quickly got up to address them. I started off with an irritated demeanor. I identified the disrespect they displayed for one another and for their father. What started as a simple reprimand turned into a full on discussion about the ingredients that make up the strength of ones character.
I was so struck by the conversation I had to write about it. My crazed OCD kicked into high gear. I notice within myself, my own folly and passion. On one hand I came at them with irritation and slight anger. I saw my own fault in how I was talking to them and feared the message would be lost, so I quickly turned to speaking in love and pleading passion.
We calmly talked about their developing minds, with the ability to assess and form lasting opinions. Reminders came out about the painful growth spurts as toddlers. Growing is painful. Whether physical, mental or spiritual growth, you will feel discomfort. And now in their adolescent bodies a different kind of growing pain exist. The internal struggle with who they are emerging into. The spiritual self is awakening.
As a spiritual being myself, I felt the awesome responsibility of eradicating any HINT of evil in its most subtle form. I tend to go after the slightest sign of pride. It's my arch nemesis!
Pride blinds you. You're no longer able to see clearly when pride is in the way. It prevents goodness from flourishing. Pride is a liar and comes in many deceptive forms. It rears its ugly head as selfishness, stubbornness, indignation, disrespect, anger, entitlement, rudeness, a negative attitude and the like. Pride is a barrier between you and truth, love, honor, respect, kindness, grace, giving, selflessness, joy and peace. In its lowest form it destroys. This is where my passion overtakes me. At the slightest sign of pride I rush in to nip it in the bud, way before the seed of pride is able to germinate and take root growing into a ginormous flesh eating carnivorous plant!
I know I can be pretty intense. But even as my words are strong and my gestures pronounced, my spirit is moved to take action and teach my children humility. I want to protect them. By protection I mean, equipping them with tools of evaluation, correction, decision making and the ability to manifest goodness into the world. I want them to be self-sufficient and active participants in their mental, physical and spiritual growth.
I gently reminded them that home is where it all starts. A safe environment to work out the kinks. A safe haven if you will. A place where the pains of growing can be soothed but a place where mistakes are allowed. This is the testing ground. Who you are to each other in the home, is who you will be to others. I encouraged them to love, respect and honor each other. Having their minds, heart, body and spirit/soul working together as one is the ultimate goal. My desire for them is to become loving, caring, giving, respectful, creative, productive and spiritually minded adults.
They were very receptive. Now I can go back to sleep.