This was a common refrain when I was a teenager, each time I bent the rules so far they broke.
They being my parents.
And there they were, those same words, gracing my lips just a couple of weeks ago, as if a direct quote, despite my oft vow to myself that my ability to influence my kid would never deteriorate into something so base as a grounding.
So when my soon to be teen son heard those words directed at him for the first time, he quite innocently and quite matter of factly said, ‘Huh, I’ve never been grounded before, what does that mean?’
With the frustration that foreshadowed my strike of the gavel, still teeming within me, my inside voice on the very tip of becoming my outside voice, ripe and ready to pounce with something to the effect of, ‘Well, I’ll tell you what a grounding means!’.…
….my lovely wife saved me, in effect saving us, from the slippery slope I had put us on, with…
‘By grounding, what Dad and I mean is you, we, all of us, need to ground ourselves sometimes. It’s normal and natural, as we go through life, to have times when big feelings have us less respectful, less kind, less patient than we normally are with one another. So, it’s especially at times like these that families need to return to what’s important; return home, to each other, to our bond, and re-ground ourselves’.
‘So, she continued, ‘For the next week – the duration of the sentencing Dad had just handed down – the three of us, from after school and after work, through the weekend, are going to be home, here, together. No hang outs with friends, no extra-curricular activities; instead, here at home, being together, to reconnect, all of us grounded.’
I couldn’t help but notice that here, on the heels of my grounding my son, my wife just grounded me.
The truth of it is, she was in the process of grounding us.
Grounding us in what was a beautiful blinding flash of the obvious.
And before I accentuate what the blinding flash was for me, I want to acknowledge that you, of course, would not be wrong to say, ‘What’s new Murray, we have all been grounded off and on since the pandemic was declared worldwide?’
I’m curious, though, as to how many of us have found our way, as individuals and families, to becoming grounded, throughout, while grounded.
Grounded in connection to those who, especially, matter.
Grounded in what is truly, not falsely, essential to living a fulfilled life.
Grounded in gratitude for all the riches we have that have little or nothing to do with our tired and common definition of rich.
Grounded in what it means to love each other; truly love each other, especially when chance and circumstance hurt; especially when our reactions get away from us, and have us, even momentarily, not in our light with one another.
The blinding flash of the obvious to me being that there are times in life, perhaps many, that we need nothing other than to know it’s ok to declare our need to be grounded.
With those we love and who love us.
When and where true love, for oneself and for one another, can weave its magical, restorative power.
This recent vignette of my life reminding me of something my wife passed along to me, that her brother once said to her, to the effect of, ‘You know sis’, I know that if worst came to worst, I can always go home…knowing that there is that oasis I can return to, any time the need may be there, to renew and replenish, gives me all the strength I need to go out there and do my thing in the world.’
M.A. (Master of Leadership)
Catalyzing Clarity, Creativity & Courage Amidst Significant Change, Challenge & Choice
Guide, Speaker, Writer
Home of the ‘100 Day Shift Clarifying Journey – Understanding Your True Nature’
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