If Only Thinking

As a kid growing up in South Dakota as a young musician, I remember if only I lived in New York, where there were lots more playing opportunities.  If only I lived nearer to a more prominent college. We get caught up in this If Only thinking so quickly.  If only I had the money to do this, or only I could make my own decisions and not be dominated by parents.  This way of thinking implies that the way things are right now is somehow incomplete and not what they should be.

Quite the opposite is true.  It is so important to help our kids understand that each moment, time, and the place is complete as it is presently.  That there is no need to wish for things to be different.  Some of the most successful people in the world have made it because they took what they had, where they were, and made it work, made sense out of it.  If only thinking will interrupt the natural flow of our lives and cause us to limit our review, to think in defeatist terms, rather than using our creativity and inspiration to lead our lives.

By taking each moment in our lives and accepting it as it is, and working with it, we defeat the If Only thinking limitations.

Work with your kids today to help them think more in terms of here is where I am now, here is what I have to work with, and here is what I can do.  It may not be all that you want it to be, it may feel like not enough, but it is enough for you to begin your journey leading to more incredible things.  Develop the ability to capture the present moment and to enjoy it fully.  It is such an important concept to understand.  I have found that even 10-year-olds can grasp this fully.

Then as they grow and develop, remind them that this understanding is still there for them to push to a new level.

For a slightly different take on If Only Thinking, read this post Adolescents: If Only Thinking – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

the Tiny Buddha site has a very thoughtful post on Living in the Now When It’s Stressful, Living in the Now When It’s Stressful: 4 Mindfulness Tips (tinybuddha.com)


Yours for better parenting,