I was recently asked the question: “Is it better to share our struggles with someone we trust or to keep them private?” I begin my answer by sharing a little-understood principle and how I have applied it in my personal experience.
For two and a half years (between February 2006 and August 2008), I operated a daycare/ preschool within my home. As a seasoned mother (of ten) and educator for many, many years, I had learned and interacted with numerous children. Yet, this daycare experience was unique.
This was in my home… for 10–12 hours a day, 5 days a week, with many little ones who were not “mine.”
My home had always been an extension of me. I had always created a sacred space of order, harmony, beauty and peace. Being recently divorced, I had relished the continual happy peace within my home and was determined to preserve it, even with ten or more children, infants through five year olds (not biologically my own), sharing it with me.
Through my experiences, I came to prove that I could take any child… ANY Child… and within a short time re-train him or her to a level of self-respect and empowerment that would allow for this continual serenity within my home. Regrettably, these children’s harmonious interactions would make most adults cower in shame and embarrassment. Truly.
Was this oasis of peace a coincidence? I just somehow ended up with model children? No.
Was my in-home daycare experience a miracle? No way!
I am no genius, neither am I stretching the truth here.
Regardless if a child entered my care with symptoms of autism, ADHD, asthma, learned behaviors of whininess, tantrums, meanness, sibling rivalry, or any of the list of “normal” childhood attributes, their parents would (usually within about two weeks) acknowledge, “What have you done with my child?!!! This is the little angel that I always wanted!” Other comments, such as, “My child used to be such a picky eater… threw tantrums… refused to nap… was such a problem going to sleep… etc. … BUT NOW DOESN’T!”… were common.
Yet, Monday mornings I usually had to invest more time into some re-training for some of the children in these new patterns that the parents had unwittingly allowed to slip back to some degree over the weekend. After the first few months and I had parents begin pleading with me to teach parenting seminars so that they could learn and apply these same principles over the weekends and beyond, I rejoiced and agreed!
Those seminars were short-lived, however, as my life quickly began going through several distinct chapters. Always, though, I have seen and proven that those same major principles that I learned and applied work for everyone, regardless of age… with just a few tweaks.
The spring of 2008 I had deeply and earnestly importuned the “heavens” for “How do I heal those NOT of pre-school age? What about all the adults? The teens? This world is FILLED with so many, oh, so many, who live in sadness, broken hearts, dis-respect of self and others, learned behaviors that disrupt peace and harmony. Please, please, PLEASE… help me to understand how to help THEM.”
And I was taught.
One night I was given a vision along with the rest of the principle, opening up my understanding so that I could now adjust it for everyone of any age.
Shortly after this revelation, however, I was told that I was needed in South America, and to sell everything and follow Christ from that time forth. I did. Oh, what an adventure my life has been since then!
I have much to write about, so much to attempt to make plain.
For now, though, in regards to this specific question, I return to the principle and how I applied it first within my in-home daycare.
Yes, It’s that simple!
Make a choice: I WILL ALWAYS maintain peace within. No matter what.
Truly, “Choose you THIS DAY.” I *WILL* be an emotionally stable, empowered person… regardless of the circumstances, not depending on any other variable or person within my life.”
Making this choice is the crucial first step.
For the children who entered my daycare, I made the choice for them. Then I trained them into it.
I will make a distinction at this point that there is often a vast difference between telling a child something and teaching, or better, TRAINING a child into a character trait. I did not *tell* the child I was caring for. I *trained* him or her. Through various specific ways, I taught the principle:
*When faced with a challenge (and they are sure to come!), I will be the master of the situation;*
NOT through exerting my will over another’s, but by being the “master” of my emotions. Like WATER, I will flow through every situation with a peaceful heart and in a way that assists the Good of All for the long-term.*
As in the amusement-park game of “Bumper Cars,” we are sure to bump into each others’ different perspectives from time to time. But… are we meek? Do we recover GRACE-Fully? Do we maintain our inner integrity? Do we smile and say, “Oh, You be right!” (I be happy!) 🙂
With my preschoolers, I modeled this behavior. During our daily circle time I reinforced these self-empowerment principles through story, song, discussion, role-play. I was continually diverting the children’s attention to how they Felt WITHIN. “Are you HAPPY?” I would ask when I could see one start to waiver in their emotional solidity. Usually this was enough to help them decide for them self to regain their inner power. During their initial weeks with me when I was focused upon training them into mastery of their emotions, if there was a time when the child would “lose” their peaceful heart, for instance would start to whine, take a toy away from another, roll their eyes at me, whatever, I would… with complete serenity yet a quiet voice of power… point to our established out-of-the-way-place and say: “GO get happy!”
The child would learn to quickly obey, sit down “indian-style” with his back to the rest of us, his face to the wall, each hand on a knee, as he recovered his sense of stability and balance. When I could tell that he was back to his “happy place,” I would go over to him. (This is important: it was ME who initiated his re-emergence and gave him invitation to rejoin the social group.) I would gently yet firmly ask, “Are you Happy?” If I could see on his face and feel from his heart, that indeed, he had worked through ALL of the Emotion and was back again in balance, then I would let him fall into my warm embrace as we hugged for a moment or two and… that was that. He was once again able to interact with and play with all the rest of us.
Usually, a child just needed one or two of these training sessions to “get it.” Yes, all of the other interactions assisted to reinforce this constant theme of self-empowerment and mastery of emotions. Sometimes I would receive a child who needed NO personal training. He was able to catch on by watching another child or children learn the hard way.
And, yes. There were times that I spanked a child if they did not allow them self to be trained in the easier manner. As such, I DID NOT LOSE *MY* PERFECT BALANCE. For instance, if a new child refused to stay seated until my invitation to leave his “getting happy” stance, then I would methodically and without breaking my inner peace swat him swiftly and hard with the palm of my hand on his bottom. Then, I would again point and gently command: “Get happy!”
Because the parents of my children had come to respect me, I had their trust in dealing with their children. They called me “the Child Whisperer” and “the Happy Scientist.” They immediately knew of my profound love for their child and that I had their best interest in mind. PLUS, they witnessed the incredible and constant *HUMMMM* of peace throughout the day amongst the children, the precious camaraderie, sharing, kindness and interaction that they exhibited.
YES… trained to be happy children are an absolute delight to watch and interact with! They are HEAVEN on Earth!
In my preschool years, I would OFTEN have parents hang out after work just sitting on the patio or in the back of the room (wherever they could unobtrusively watch) and quietly observe the interaction of the children. They would sit in amazement at the blissful peace.
Peace was procured without coercion, with no sugar, but with just consistent, peaceful, boundaries established and maintained through training that brought security and allowed for creative growth.
There are many more specific scenarios that I could highlight to reinforce aspects of the principle, but I will get back now to the question at hand.
Is it better to share our struggles with someone we trust or keep them private?
Answer: *IF* (BIG IF) you have someone available that has mastered their emotions… not just sort-a, kind-a, usually, but has COMPLETELY MASTERED their own emotions, and *IF* (BIG IF) you are committed to shifting UP and elevating your current perception of your “struggles,” *THEN* Yes. Share your burden for a pre-established short amount of time (say, ten minutes). However, make sure and have your empathic listener help you to maintain your commitment to shifting back up into mastery of your emotions, clear sight, and empowered going forward in a place of happy serenity.
If you’d like, I will explain this principle from a different direction.
Although hidden within scripturese, the answer is plain to see here as well when explained correctly.
“Come unto *ME* all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and *I* will give you rest!”
When we “struggle” with something, whether an anger issue, feelings of depression or loneliness, a task that seems overwhelming… WHATEVER we struggle with…
IF we “labor and are heavy laden” in any way, but desire to feel empowered and self-respecting… THEN we will come to no one else but the *ME* referenced (though so misunderstood!).
We will look within. We will draw upon our innermost strength and find hidden resources to get us through. Indeed, “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Christ = Real Truth = Self Mastery = The Real-eyes-ation that No task is too large or too difficult to maneuver through with peaceful and integrous trust that we CAN maneuver through.
This world is FULLLL of naysayers, doomsayers, lamenters, complainers, depressed robotic half-alivers who walk around complaining, gossiping, CREATING MORE OF THE VERY HAVOC AND DESPAIRING CONDITIONS THAT THEY ABHORE!
Looking with narrowed eyes, of course the world’s “going to hell in a hand-basket!” With a heart full of “woe is me,” of course this atmosphere’s getting more and more loaded with SHIT! (for some)
Again, the only way out of a black hole of struggle is to LOOK *UP*!
“Go get happy!” Find your stability and tensile strength deep within… without littering this world with any more emotional garbage!
“Draw near unto *ME* and *I* will draw near unto you.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit… WHO COME UNTO *ME*… for their spirits shall be filled and they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” AND, this “kingdom of heaven,” or *rejoicing emotional strength* is promised “THIS DAY!” Not in any far-away future, but NOW. Upon the dedicated choice and looking UP to “BE HAPPY!”
The greater the emotional control of those who lead, and MOST ESPECIALLY the *MOTHERS* and *CARE-GIVERS* of the world… the greater the emotional peace and prosperity of all.
So, again… as you go through your “bumper car” experiences and feel the struggles of not knowing your way through the mists of darkness and confusion, share your burden ONLY with another (if you have access to one) who is emotionally strong and mature and WITH THE INTENT of looking UP and gaining stability your self.
“GO GET HAPPY!”
P.S. In case you misjudge me and view me as possibly just not understanding how difficult your situation is… I am currently home-less, car-less, raising a daughter while single and income-less. Yes… I AM HAPPY, trusting, serving in every way I can as I flow through this current chapter with my programmed-in emotional strength. I WILL find my way. YOU can, too! 🙂
In my pursuit of Real Truth, I have given up everything. Crawling through the “eye of the needle,” I have learned the *mysteries* and am now giving my life to assist YOU to dis-cover Who *YOU* really are, along with your unique gift to offer humanity. As you learn to seek (in the right place and with purified intent), you WILL find treasures of lasting value, along with every promised reward. Together, we will establish a society of humane beings and live life ALIVE, on PURPOSE, and with a sociality unequaled… because we will each BE and view each other as equally and profoundly DIVINE! Please… catch this Hope and Vision and join with me.