One of my favorite books is Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. “With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.”
It seems that these thoughts I wake up thinking are laced with slippery threads of opinion…the kind you have to double knot or they’ll keep coming undone as you walk along. And off I go toward a conclusion, all double knotted–huffing and puffing all my hot air until, exhausted, I give up the fight and plop down to earth.
Sometimes I think I’ve got stuff all figured out, which is probably the caution sign that construction (or rather deconstruction) is ahead. When confronted with my own preconceived notions I am humbled. Recently, in talking through a conflict with my younger daughter during a particularly emotional exchange, one such caution sign popped up.
I work in retail. I know how to take a breath and consider carefully what I need to say. I was explaining to her that with family conversation and the depth of emotion involved it’s very easy to get whisked away expressing thoughts haphazardly. (At least that’s how I let myself off the hook for my unfortunate outburst.) She looked at me shocked and hurt and said, “But I’m your daughter. You are more careful about how you respond to customers you don’t even know?”
Yeah…that’s when those slippery threads on my shoes full of feet tripped me up and I landed with a thud right onto my head full of brains. She’s right.
While it is a valid acknowledgement that the current of deep emotion can make steering difficult during these encounters, I must also acknowledge the imperative to make the extra effort with those whom we love. Particularly family. My Achilles heel has been taking family forgiveness for granted.
I think my darling daughter’s courageous words were just what the doctor ordered!