There is a sweetness in the air and the sun is shining. I’m remembering a moment at the Mammoth Cave National park, two weeks ago. We signed up for the historical tour and were on our way to explore the caves. Our 11 yr old son was having a melt down because he didn’t want to hike. We had already paid for the tour and were dreading the next two hours of a whiny pre-teen. We had experienced these angsty, over the top episodes over the past months and they were wearing on us all. Each time the fits would come we would try to manage through them prayerfully, although not very eloquently. Then after they passed we would address him, sharing the impact that it was having on us all, including our son. We would bring to light the belief system in place that precipitated the fits and we would challenge him to identify the fear or twisted thinking patterns at the root. Then we would talk through the options and consequences. These conversations were long and tedious and often the timing was not ideal.
And so, as we walked towards the caves, the attitude started to seep in and we braced ourselves for the coming storm. However, this time it was different. Instead of the full blown episode, there was only rough blowing of the wind. And, after a moment of discord, our son turned back. Was this a new front? Was this a new tactic? We continued forward maintaing the joy and anticipation of experiencing the largest cave structure in the US, all the while our son followed and at a certain point must have had a conversation in his own head, the one that we’ve been having all along about root belief’s and decided to make a change. I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure it was a lasting change and wondered if there would be some sort of pay back in the caves or after the hike, but this time it really was different. This time the change went to the core. It wasn’t a white knuckling surrender but a real moment of clarity, of empathy. There really isn’t a formula for this stuff, only prayer, open conversation, vulnerability and belief that we are all connected. I don’t know what decision he’ll make next time around, but I do know that the more we replace lies with truth the more we walk in the light. The more we walk in the light the more we recognize the lies. I’m encouraged by the sacred text. “be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.”
By the way, the Mammoth Cave’s were amazing and Kentucky was the greenest place we’ve ever been. Also, I would like to thank my dad for his wisdom and for authoring “Twisted Thinking Transformed.” You’re a wise old soul dad!