The Middle Ground
When we help our kids, and ourselves to pay attention to the Middle Ground of life, we are teaching determination, perseverance, and integrity. Those are never bad things to pass on to our kids and reaffirm in ourselves. So often in life, we look towards the highs and the lows, for those are the times when we feel the most impact on our experience. Today I want to suggest that the Middle Ground is where life happens. If we stop and think about it, the highs and the lows don’t last that long. They are fleeting. Here one moment and then gone so quickly. But the middle ground is where we either keep our momentum going or lose our momentum! That is when the day-to-day slogging and daily routine become the real struggle, and the image that we have for ourselves is either a positive one or becomes a negative one.
The middle ground is when we need to diligently continue about our work, holding the image we have for ourselves. As we continue to keep the vision we have for ourselves, our goals, the wood chips of life begin to fall to the ground as we shape our future. Our kids struggle with the middle ground as well. They feel stuck, and like nothing, they do matter anymore. I recently visited with a young neighbor girl and her parents as they were walking her home from school. I asked her how her day went. She gave me this disappointed look and said, “Tests suck.” As I tried to pursue that attitude with her, she just completely shut down, as kids do so often for us. I asked her my favorite two questions, 1) What do you love about today, and 2) What did you learn? She completely hid behind her dad without an answer. I thought, hmmm, she appears to be stuck in the middle of things. School isn’t quite out yet and the year is dragging on for her, yet she is trying to keep going and struggling.
We all have moments like this when we want things to end, but that is precisely the middle ground that I am pointing out. That is when we need to hold our image, our goal, reaffirm what we’re trying to do and give a big push to help ourselves to finish strong when I was attending college to earn my Bachelors of Music degree from The University of Iowa. There were many times when the middle ground just seemed to close in on me. Not enough time, not enough money, not enough food, and challenging classes along with way too many credit hours per semester. I kept myself going by doing what I’m asking you to do with yourself and your kids, hold your image. I would review my goals, which was to teach music in a public school. I reaffirmed how enjoyable it would be to work with kids and perform music. I visualized myself in a small town teaching and beginning my career, which ended up to be what I did. What was I doing? I was paying attention to the Middle Ground when things seem to get away from us when we lose our way. Is when our image begins to fade and become tarnished with the defeats and difficulties of life. But that is when you want to pay attention. Seize that middle ground with a determination, perseverance to accomplish what you set out to accomplish.
I hope that you enjoy these thoughts today,
Yours for a Better Life,