It is a long standing tradition for my little family to watch the dive show at Holiday World. We are always in awe of the professional divers and the stunts they perform for us each year. One of our favorites is the dive Hot Stuff. The diver has a fireproof costume on, ignites herself and then dives into the small pool! We can actually feel the heat off of her as she lands in the water. As my littlest said when the show was over “It’s a good thing they tell people not to try that at home mommy!”
How often do we metaphorically set ourselves on fire on purpose in our lives? We purposefully ignite something within us and then we dive into the closest pool of water to put out the flames. We do this when we open our mouths and say that thing we know we shouldn’t say to a family member and then we try to back track and splash into the water. We do something at work that we know we should not do but we do it anyway and find ourselves swimming in that little pool trying to pretend we never did it to begin with but we did. As parents we lose our patience at times and throw a little temper tantrum in front of our children, while in the process of it we fully know that this is not the behavior we want our children to replicate. We try to explain it away, trying to extinguish those flames.
It’s all about self discipline. If we could only make ourselves stop before we light the flame. If we could only take a longer time out high up on that ladder and just turn around and come down off of it. My husband taught me long ago to never send a heated email to anyone ever. Any time I am mad it is good to vent and write something but never hit that send button. You all know what I am talking about. It would be wonderful if our emails had a censor on it! So that if we hit send it could scan the message and block the bad ones. Like my husband said “If you send that out it is there forever for anyone to read again and again.” He is right and it is all about self discipline.
So how do we make this better? How do we as parents teach our children this fine art if we cannot seem to master it? We need to try harder to resist lighting the flame. When we are upset or have something bad to say we need to literally bite our tongues. We need to think before we act. Is this an action we will be proud of and want others to know we have taken? We need to step back mentally and just stop ourselves. We need to say a little prayer to God to help to keep us quiet and calm until we can vent in a private place where no one will be hurt by our fuming. It will take time and we as humans will never perfect this art but we must try so that others will not be hurt by us and to be a better person in general.
Today, when you feel it coming on and you want so badly to light that costume, take a deep breath, say a little prayer and turn around and walk back down off of that ladder. You can do it with God’s help.