Do what’s in your heart

Posted by Samantha on April 11, 2011 in Thought for the day |

Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

Eleanor Roosevelt, US diplomat and reformer (1884 – 1962)

What an extraordinary woman Eleanor Roosevelt must have been.  Here’s another classic quote from her and what wonderful parenting advice it is. 

Now, it’s a tricky business when at first you try to recognise what your heart feels to be true.  Sometimes a heart can be in so much pain, that what it knows to be true isn’t really true at all.  But listen closer.  Is that really the heart speaking?  Or could it be the mind?

My mind used to be full of crap.  My mind was full of judgement.  And so I felt confused as a parent a lot of the time because my mind was full of rubbish, but my heart was full of love.

 A great friend of mine was fond of asking me “What would LOVE do Samantha?” when I asked her for parenting advice (yes! I ask others for help and advice!).  “What would love do?”: this question keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to being the parent I want to be.

I’ve read that love isn’t enough when it comes to being a parent.  You’ve got to give your kids more than love they say.  I know what they mean.  But it all depends on how you define love.

For me, love is patient and kind.  Love is never rude, never selfish, and it is not easily angered. 

But love can also mean stopping a child from doing what they want. Sometimes love is showing a child where the boundaries lie.  I like to call them “Loving Boundaries” just to remind myself that boundaries can be enforced with love.

Most of all these days I like to remember that love never gives up. 

It really helps to remember this when you’re enforcing one of those difficult boundaries and you really feel like you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t and it would be so much easier to just walk away and let your child have whatever it is that they want.

This is when I go back to Eleanor.  And I know that I MUST do what I know in my heart to be right.


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