No Good without the Bad

Where I live, we get at least a couple big snow storms a year.

My son is now at the age where he wants to play in it.

Our first time playing in the snow started, of course, with all the gear. Warm layers, cozy socks, snow pants, jacket, hat, gloves, and snow boots.

We grabbed a small toddler sled and headed out. It was all very exciting, but after about a minute, my son itched his face. With his glove on.

Now, he had snow all over his face, which was very cold, wet and upsetting.

After a few tears, we took about tries “sledding” down miniature hills. Quickly, though, we were back at tears over a cold and wet face, gloves that didn’t stay on right, slipping on the snow, and an itchy neck.

So, after about 8 minutes in the snow, we headed back inside to undo all the prep work. All the work before and after the snow took at least double the amount of time we spent playing in the snow.

The interesting thing to me is that as soon as my son saw the next snowfall, he was eager to get back in the snow. His steal trap memory definitely didn’t let him forget the bundling up, the falling, or the cold and wet discomfort.

Despite all of that, he finds the fun and exploring worth it. As his mom, so do I.

This is so true about so much of our lives. If we want the chance to experience the good, we have to be willing to feel the bad. We don’t get human connection without disappointment. We don’t get learning without failing.

When we stop resisting the bad, it is easier to experience. When I take my son out, I know he will cry because snow gets in his boot (and many other reasons). If I thought something went wrong everytime he cried, I would be creating more suffering.

If you are struggling with the difficult, sad, or upsetting side of life right now, know that nothing has gone wrong. Life is not meant to be all good. Allow yourself to feel the bad, so you are also able to feel the good.

As parents, I also believe it is important that we allow a children to feel the negative side. Of course we want to protect them, but we can’t forever. So, we need to let them expereince all that it means to be human and simply be there to support them as they learn to navigate the good and the bad.

If you’d like to provide more support, perspective and tools for your (pre)teen, please sign up for a free 30-minute consultation today.

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