What is freedom, and how can we be free?
What is, just is

Being a parent in the summer isn't always easy, right?

You look forward to it all winter, the beautiful weather, the outdoor activities, and the time with your children. But when summer arrives, parents often face a lot of pressures and frustrations.

How do we prioritize time with the family at the pool or beach, hiking and biking, traveling, or camping with the pressures and responsibilities of work or business? When we slack off at work, we feel guilty about that. Then when we focus on work while the kids are passing time idly on the couch, we also feel guilty about neglecting them. What is the right balance? Is there a way to do this right?

We all do our best—sometimes the grandparents help, some of us send the kids to a camp for a week, separated parents get a break by sharing custody, some parents get enough vacation time—but, even when the details are properly planned, all this time spent together is a true test of our family relationships. Can you be yourselves together? Can you be present, without stress, without that feeling that anything should be different from how it is?

Most people spend all their lives being here but wanting to be there, working toward some future destination. But each summer is a destination, and now we must learn to become present, to enjoy each other's company, to accept each other’s differences, to express our love even when we are hot, sweaty, tired, and being stung by mosquitoes.

Even under the best of circumstances, summer is a test of patience for any family. It isn’t getting any easier with all the technology, all the increasing complexity and pressures in our lives. But you can practice being still, sneak away for a rest or meditation when you can, be yourself, let unimportant things go, let yourself off the hook for whatever you’re not doing in any particular moment—and also give your spouse a break. This is not a time for faking or repressing emotions. It is a time to practice present moment awareness, acceptance, and unconditional love.

As we get some of this right, we build so much trust. As we get things wrong occasionally, we show that we are not perfect, and we ask for forgiveness.  Summer is a time for growth in the areas of life that matter most, the areas that are real, with the people who we love. It is a time when relationships are strengthened and beautiful memories are made, even if the days can be long and there can be unexpected challenges or frustrations. Forgive yourself, forgive your loved ones, enjoy summer!

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Posted by Abscondo

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