Operating In Offense

So today I was reminded of what it looks like to operate in offense. Operating in offense is when you are so offended by someone or something that you can’t hear what others are saying to you. You are snippy, rude, loud and angry. Not one thing is heard from that moment. You aren’t willing to see someone else because you have taken the focus off of the issue and made it about self.  This is a self-righteous stance. There is nothing that will be gained walking in offense.  The world is really walking in offense. A lot of it is real and some of it comes from a deep seeded place that needs to be healed.

Now I wasn’t the person operating in offense today but I was able to see the old me through the eyes of the other person’s offense. Like many who have attempted to speak to me in moments of rage, anger, etc. in the past,  I saw what its like talking to a wounded person. You can’t heal that situation or person until you deal with their pain. Period. I don’t care how many cute quotes, speeches, etc. you give, they aren’t going to listen. I think about some of my past hurt prior to counseling and I seen how extremely closed off I was. Not willing to hear a person because all I kept focusing on  was myself.  Today I was hit with that same reality. I was humbled and blessed to see that for one I had real growth. The old me would have dipped into offense and gave folks a run for their money. My mouth is for sure a sword. I know this about me and with that mindset I do all I can to check myself first before handing out a 2 piece!  I listened to them and saw them for their pain and gifted them grace.  Isn’t it funny how you will confront yourself in another form down the line?

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Photo by Demeter Attila on Pexels.com

I gave the person the grace that wasn’t extended to me. This is probably the part that I struggle with the most. Not giving of grace, because my life is a grace walk, but knowing that lack of maturity didn’t allow or wont allow people to see my past issues as simply me walking in offense. My ability to see myself works wonders for me NOW.  My biggest challenge is feeling like I have to apologize a thousand times and do emotional backflips for folks to see growth. I have now come or am coming to peace with the notion that after you take a step back some folks won’t see you for your growth because they never wanted to see you grow in the first place. They saw the offense and used it to get off their chest what they had in them the whole time.  As I watched the situation unfold this morning and while I stayed calm I just said let me gift this grace. Let me not get offended at their offense. Let me let time, maturity, and step back. It will be fixed eventually. We all have to check ourselves and walk without sometimes getting the apology that we think we need or want. I couldn’t get through to the person this morning.  I probably wont for some time. I can’t do anything past their offense. That is a hard pill to swallow but such is life.  Eventually I pray they have their moment like I had to have mine. Hurt people or offended people can’t operate with your best interest in mind until they deal with their issues.  It doesn’t matter how old or young, how smart, etc. We all have a responsibility to do our daily work and check ourselves.

My message for anyone  who is  walking in offense, you will not grow and heal until you deal with you. I could give you a virtual high-five over your offense. You could be like YASSSS SIS I was right to be offended. I did that to and justified my responses, but the truth is that the offense was there to help you grow. It wasn’t so you could prove anything. It was there to make you whole. Once you tap into that you really will have deep seeded change.

 

I know this sounds super deep on Wednesday when you were just grateful for simply surviving your week but it is a necessary nugget. Sometime you are fighting a person and its like punching air. You are attempting to get through to someone who isn’t ready to receive because they cant get past their offense or even their general disdain of you to keep it real. This is across ALL relationships. Even romantic ones. If you and your boo is always up in arms its because instead of hearing you are defending your offense. You are coming to the table of communication with your guard up so high nothing is reaching past this imaginary wall of offense. That’s what happened today. (FYI I am not talking about my husband) That wall was so high it would have taken Olympic size strides to overpower it.

Today was interesting to say the least especially since it’s not even noon but remember when you head is on right, your at peace in your life, its not just so you can be in a peace bubble.  You will see you and either be grateful for change or have to say ouch and be the change. To the person I encountered today that was and is walking in offense, I pray that you have your moment of inner clarity. I wish you the best as my peace remains!

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Weekly Wrap Up: May 19, 2017

Happy National Pizza Party day.  Who doesn’t love pizza?  Okay not a real way to open up the blog by hey it’s Friday and I am in uber good mood today.  For all of those who will have a slice have fun! I have eaten enough of my points in other delectable things for the week that I need to chill until date night tomorrow night.  So how was your week? Mine was pretty good so let’s dive in.

Personal Highs

So this has been a good week.  Let me shout out my kids this week.  They are ending the school year on some awesome high notes.  My daughter-the oldest has a birthday coming up.  My son is going to kindergarten next year and has a moving up graduation soon. My youngest is doing well and has adopted a new imaginary friend aka her bunny.  This has been an awesome week for the Storr kids.  That makes me and my husband super awesome.  Another good thing this week has been that I have gotten the most sleep in a long time.  Now with that we will talk about my lows but that’s at least a plus this week.  I am still losing the weight and I am super excited. I have another goal and that is a cute little Boho bathing suit I have been eyeing for the Summer.  Oh and Summer is coming so insert the biggest happy face ever.  I love heat!  I have some awesome plans this weekend along with some scheduled me time so I can’t wait to get me together like I always do-no excuses. Have a wonderful weekend and do one thing that will renew your mind. Sometimes that means cleaning a few things out in preparation for what is to come.

Here is a short list of renewal things (I get asked this in emails often)

  1. Clean up your space-this is very renewing.  Clutter will get the best of you.
  2. Go to a park-being outside is very comforting.
  3. Magazine time-you need to be able to take some time out to enjoy a few favorites.
  4. Visit a coffee shop
  5. Church or mediation
  6. Go to a farmers market
  7. Sleep-rest is a beautiful thing. I am super busy but taking an extra hour does amazing things
  8. Shopping for some is super renewing
  9. Organize-doing things to help your week saves time and energy.  I meal prep, breakfast prep like making sandwiches I can freeze and grab, making smoothie bags for the week all ensure that the excuse of “don’t have time” is gone.  How else would I get through the week with 3 small kids at 3 different schools?

News

  1. Kingston Frazier, 6 years old was killed when his mother went into a grocery store and left him in a car unattended with the keys.  A group of men later identified as teenagers took the car with the boy in it and hours later he was found dead with a shot-gun wound.  My heart has been hurting and my head too over the senseless deaths of our children this week.  Please keep this family in prayer.
  2. Following up from the previous death is the death of Gabriel Taye who died of an apparent suicide after he had been bullied and knocked out the day before after hitting his head on a wall by another boy in his class.  His mother was not informed of what happened and 2 days later he was found in his bedroom from a suicide.
  3. Here in Philly a 10-year-old boy had been bullied and came home and told his mom he had the worst day of his life.  She gave him space and then when she went to check on him he had died of an apparent suicide.  I know there are a lot of other news stories but these are important this week.  We have kids’ life being taken for no reason.  Please parent be vigilant with your kids.  Please make sure that you talk with your children.  We need to listen and support our children.  Do NOT leave them in the car.  Although the actions of the mother who left Kingston in the car were bad, the real enemy was the boys that took his life.  May all of these beautiful boys always be remembered and let’s have less of them.  I will do a separate blog about all of them soon.
  4. Trump and the Russian ties is heating up.  So be on the look out if you already aren’t now.

Blogs

  1. The dirty mirror-this had a lot to do with my personal journey that I am taking in my life to love me more and how that is affecting and could potentially affect the state of my marriage.  These changes have so far made us strong but for others who find themselves in this change it can make them second guess everything.
  2. I got you ma-this is the season that men start the cat calling more.  Summer lovin is finally on its way.  For the single and ready to mingle this could be good.  Just don’t lose your mind and think that all men are on the up an up because they are not. Some will promise the world just to bed you.  Never lose focus. If you only want sex, protect yourself, but if you want more, be vigilant and ask questions.  Men will tell you what you ASK. So ask the right ones.
  3. TBT: we threw it back to when putting it all on the table too soon may be considered an issue.  Don’t be the only one throwing it out there.  Ask.  If you’re dating its your season to enjoy someone’s company as well as it is to collect information.

Personal Lows

So I went to the doctors a few weeks ago and got a clean bill of health.  So she asked me to get blood work done.  I didn’t do it.  So now the migraines that had subsided since I started eating better and losing weight have come back.  So today I didn’t hesitate to get the blood work done this morning.  So that is the push for all of my ToiTime to take care of themselves.  So it’s your job to be vigilant about what you need.  You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of you first.  I have to wait until Monday to get the results and I am pretty sure I know what they will say.  I will keep you posted. I do not think I am in immediate danger.  I do believe vitamins etc. will have to be readjusted.  Other than that whatever has been going on makes me super exhausted. I am anemic but that was improving. So say a little prayer that all will be well and continue that way.

Educators

This last week or so have been a whirlwind.  I have been at both of my children’s school as well as making sure that both of my older children have what they need.  Since the death of their grandma my husband and I know that they have been affected.  The day of the funeral my son went into a behavioral spin and has been spinning since then.  Now let me make a quick disclaimer, I am not one of those parents who think their kids are angels. Trust me they are not.  However as hands on as my husband and I are I know for a fact that I can separate the things about my children from a spike or a low.

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So of course for the sake of my children’s privacy I am not about to blog about anything in particular dealing with their issues but I want to highlight a few things for educators. Educators have a hard job.  They are underpaid and have to contend with the best and the worst of children.  However let me give you a few lessons and nuggets from a hands on parent:

  1. Communication.  Its one of the things that educators complain that they don’t get enough of from parents.  FYI if you have parents who are on top than its up to you to hold your end of the bargain.  My kids are the type that will tell me the real.  They have told me what a teacher says in my presence doesn’t align with what they actually do.  I am not talking in the form that benefits my kids either.  I am talking about straight, no filter of what took place.  To test that theory I will mention something and check the response and find that my kids were on point.  It’s important to be clear with rewards as well as be consistent in discipline.
  2. Watch your words.  I was in the bathroom at one of my children’s school and overheard a completely negative comment. The not so funny thing is that my child was in ear space of the comment as well.  Words have life.  You make enough comments about how bad or how horrible a child is when I had been watching that child and could physically see that the child was just standing there is one reason for me as a parent to not trust you.  Even if the statement was a blanket statement my question is, do you have no filter?  Let’s say the child in the class is practically Freddie incarnate, what benefit will you get by saying to a child, you are the worst child I have ever seen? Some of these teachers can say the meanest thing and then want a positive response.  I haven’t yet dealt with the teacher in question but I definitely plan on it.  We are teaching our children to be respectful and as a child they can’t always properly put into words what was said but they do know how it made them feel.  As a parent, from one adult to another, it’s a problem and I want an explanation.  You can be human all day but understand that human or not as an adult the expectation is much higher on your side than a child.  Don’t like it get a new field.
  3. Seek an answer.  Just because a child is doing anything, never assume.  Ask.  Do you know how many kids are being emotionally abused at home?  I hear it all the time, parents swearing at their kids, talking down to them, embarrassing them and then they come to school and you do the same thing but you choose the tone of your voice to be different to sound better than the parent and you’re no better.  Everything isn’t black or white.  Investigate the grey area.
  4. Have empathy.  Did you know that child only eats at school so in the am before food is being given out they may be grumpy?  Did you know the child that is being molested before school?  Some of your worst students can’t all be turned around but you can at least make a positive impact for the few hours they are in your care.  Being a teacher is no different from being a social worker. Some of the same skill sets need to be evoked.
  5. Have fun. No one wants to come to a class with someone with the most sour face in the world.  Why should they want to enjoy your class?  Make it fun to learn.  It doesn’t matter what grade a student is in even in college classes, be fun.  Be stern and don’t slack on the rules.  If the rules take away from pure enjoyment than you need to find a new subject to teach.

Educators aren’t babysitters not even daycare workers. Educators especially in the early education component have a unique opportunity to shape our next leaders.  It is imperative that you either be about the children you manage or bow out.  There’s no room for you to simply do the basics to just get a check.

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Let me give you an example.  When I was in high school I had a 4.0.  I was one of the top of my class. I had a guidance counselor that made the comment that I wouldn’t need to know about scholarships because I wouldn’t need it.  Que?  Why would a straight A student not need to know about scholarships when at the time I had been accepted into every school I had applied?  When I went home and told my parents what was said, my mom immediately called a meeting.  When we got to the meeting the first time he was too busy talking and hanging out with students to meet.  My mom had to reschedule.  The second meeting he had his legs folded on his desk trying to talk to her.  She walked out of that meeting immediately. She called another meeting with the principle and from that day I never had that guidance counselor again.  My mom’s concerns were that no one sits their feet up on a desk for a meeting with a parent like they were on familiar terms.  The second was that she demanded his respect in regards to me and clearly since he disregarded her she could see why I felt the way that I did.  Shout out to my next guidance counselor, she got it right and assisted me in everything I needed.

The point was simple.  As a child even an almost adult child, listening is clear.  Finding a solution won’t happen when all you want to do is label a child.  If I was labeled being a straight A student who had never gotten into trouble at school at least, how much more any other child.  A child shouldn’t have to be perfect to receive respect.  Words matter. What you do to appear as an advocate of that child matters as well.

The Fight….

Well yes another blog is here.  My son is such a gentle giant.  He has a huge heart for others and I am noticing that as he is getting older the questions that he asks are getting deeper.  Well as parents we don’t proclaim to know it all.  We had our first “bully” talk yesterday.

So when I was growing up, bullying wasn’t a word that was used often.  I remember and I don’t mean to throw my mom and dad under the bus, but if someone started a fight with me or my twin at the time we fought.  I was never one to start a physical fight but I was taught how to end one.  I also remember being told that since I was a twin that my twin and I was all we got.  We later added the little brother in that but for a long time it was me and her. So if you started a fight with a McGinnis twin please understand you definitely was getting the business.  No one was backing down.  I can’t say I got into many but the ones I got into I didn’t get my ass whooped that’s for sure.  My mom didn’t play that.  I assume she was taught to defend herself too.  Now also with those same regards fights were fights then.  It wasn’t a situation where girls jumped in with 5 girls and more and whooped ass.  There wasn’t weapons outside of hands, feet, and maybe spitting.  Now a days, girls got gang of other girls ready to intervene.  Boys don’t even square up these days.  They grab guns and they come ready. So what does a parent in this age tell a young boy?

Well you tell them to do the right thing.  To speak up to the teacher.  To defuse the situation.  You tell them to take the high road.  However, when you come from that notion of defending yourself, then what?  My husband and I are in hard place with that conversation.  We are attempting to show our son how to handle things properly however we live in Philly and I’m not saying its rough, but fights are going to happen.  So as we take the peace maker way, I feel a sense of upset.  I will not be around my son all the time.  As a boy he feels compelled to protect himself if he is hit.  He feels the need to protect his sisters.  He is doing everything right in camp.

He tells the teacher, we talk, we go to the school make them aware, but now he doesn’t think its enough and wants to hit back.  He says the boys are hitting him in his chest and he tells them to stop.  I see it in my son’s eyes.  He wants to get them back.  He has a way of holding his shirt when he’s mad to silence his anger.  I know that look.  My son is a 4 but looks like he is 7. He’s taller than most boys his age.  He’s going to probably surpass my 6 foot 2 husband. So that look scares me.  I do not want him to snap.  I see he’s at the brink.  I took him to school today and allowed him to watch me in action as I spoke to his teachers and let them know what MY expectations and what MY follow through is going to be.  He smiled and told me he got this.  He said the boys will respect him because he gives them respect.  I told him I will call him at lunch.  I am proud of what he is doing.  I pray he doesn’t have to hit back.  That’s not the lesson we want to push.  However he’s not going to be in a corner being anyone’s punching bag.  As parents we will do all that we can to support him in those regards.  I wan him to feel safe where he is and to feel like his voice is being heard.

I told him of a situation that I had where I wanted to hit someone back even as an adult.  I told him I had the same look I saw him have.  He asked me how I dealt with it.  I told him I simply was more witty than the other person. I told him I spoke up for myself.  I told him that I didn’t allow anyone to disrespect me verbally and I choose to take the high road before it could have escalated into a fight.  I told him sometimes that he would feel good about it and times he would feel bad about it.  I told him I would prefer him to take the high road first every time but that he didn’t have to allow anyone to just hit him.  At 4 that’s about as much as I can do.  I know the conversations and the situations will get more heightened.  I hope that he can protect himself in a healthy way.  I want him to know that he matters and as parent we support him.  Until then we will be at the school.  We will be making sure they are on the same page as we are.  We will make sure that a no touch policy is being upheld.  I really wished that all parents taught their kids the same thing, but the reality is that’s not the case.  We will always teach our children to do better and to be careful of themselves and others.  We have given him the words to say.  We have tried to show him in more than one way how to let it go when necessary but we know that won’t work in every situation.

Some other things we are doing with him.  Getting him in karate.  I want him to learn the art of discipline. We want him to channel that pent-up energy into positivity.  My husband took karate as a kid.  I want him to be able to use that energy for what’s right for him.  We also have him do a lot of running around.  My son is one that you can’t simply take him on an outing.  He needs to run and interact and that’s what works for him.  Its our job to teach him how to be aware of the things he needs.