A recent article on the Forbes.com site listed seven crippling parental behaviors. My sons are grown already, but I'm actively engaged in the lives of my nine grandchildren. And the advice in the article really applies to more than parenting.
One of the seven behaviors is: "We don't share our past mistakes." That is an extremely important point in parenting. Children need to know that we made mistakes, too, and hear how it affected us. It can help them as they negotiate their own challenges. It also makes us more approachable as adults.
Beyond the parenting realm, however, that's good advice. When we share with others about things that haven't worked well in our lives, we become more human and more authentic. And others can see themselves in our story—and feel the freedom to also be real, human and authentic. Since we all wear one or more masks a lot of the time, it's liberating to take them off with at least a few people in our lives. And when we do, we invite others to also experience the freedom of removing their masks.
It is at those times of our lives that we can experience more creative solutions both for the issues in our individual lives but also for the problems that face us all as a community and society. And we can feel free from the burden of perfectionism. We can learn from each other's mistakes and life lessons, too. Many times I've discovered a solution to something in my life as I've listened to someone else's story. And who knows what doors you might open for someone when you become vulnerable and authentic as well?
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