Mom, Why Do Bad Things Keep Happening To Me?
When my son walked into my room just before church Sunday morning, he asked, "Mom, why does bad things keep happening to me?" While I thought it was a little funny and cute, since he'd just expressed the same a few moments earlier, when he said he had fallen while running through the house; I entertained him. I asked, "What do you mean? What has happened to you now?" To which he replied, "Well, I hurt my leg here (pointing to his leg) I hurt my arm here (pointing to his arm) and I hurt my eye and my foot." "So," I asked, "Well, what have you been doing, that caused you to hurt yourself?"
In that moment, I had a revelation. A very adult and crystal- clear revelation. It was a teachable moment for the both of us. So, while I entertained him on an age appropriate level, I was literally giving myself the same advice, when I asked him what exactly was it, that he was doing, to bring this upon himself.
Initially, he said that he was not doing anything. Sound familiar? You've heard that before from your children. But you've also said it yourself-just as most adults do, when they fail to take responsibility for their actions and the things that they do, which bring hurt and harm upon themselves, whether it's physical pain, emotional or mental agony.
Moments later, he asked, "Mom, did you ever jump off the bed with an iPad when you were a kid?" I laughed. "No baby, because when I was a little girl, I didn't have an iPad." But then, I knew he was serious and I did not want him to feel like he'd done something that no other child has ever done- or anything that I didn't do as a child myself. I told him that I've jumped off many beds as a child. All kids have. But when we're children, we don't know the dangers in doing something so fun and innocent. So, when we get hurt, we may not understand why. But when we think about it, we may need to ask ourselves if we would have gotten hurt at all, if we weren't jumping in the bed or jumping off the bed, and more importantly-jumping off the bed, with something in our hands. I'd figured out at that moment that he was confessing to why his eye was hurt.... or face or whatever it was in that region. He'd jumped off the bed with his iPad and somehow hit himself with it, upon landing. This is life in a nutshell.
As adults, we do things like this daily. It may not be jumping off the bed, because we're too old for that (hopefully) but it could be something such as: Jumping into a relationship, jumping into a position, jumping into an argument, or making any other decision to do something, without carefully thinking it all the way through. And we certainly don't think about the consequences and the potential dangers, potential hindrances or life-altering circumstances, which may stem from our choices, after making those childish moves. And then we fall.
I explained to my son that if he'd consider, that he only hit his face with an iPad, because he jumped off the bed with it, and that he only bruised his leg because he was doing something he shouldn't have been doing, he'd understand why bad things keep happening. At least in this case. It was appropriate for this lesson in time. However, I know that something's, I.E.: accidents, may happen that are completely out of your control. I also know that in life, we take chances or make investments that are not wise, but we should learn from it going forward. That was the bottom line. The potential outcome of everything you do, is not 100 percent avoidable, unless we just don't do it at all. But not doing it, doesn't promise that something else won't transpire in another form. Sometimes, no move, is a move. So, you just should apply where needed.
I would never preach to my child that he should fear making jumps in life, but I only want him to know that in hindsight or in pre-assessment, he should consider all outcomes, and to be mindful of what HE did, to bring on the pain. I want him to be accountable for his actions, responsible for his decisions, and to always ask himself, what part did he play. He's too young to get that on an adult level, but I do think I drove my point home in saying: This little Prince was jumping in the bed, he fell down and bumped his head. Momma called the doctor and the Doctor said, "No more little Prince, jumping in the bed."
As for me... well, I am going to take my own advice.