The "Four Forces of Enchantment" Tea with Julie series continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, July 9, 2022

Hi Friend,

If we want our kids to be open to surprise then so should we be.

One of the most difficult parts of any relationship is the fantasy we create in our heads of how it should go as compared with how it really is. We have scripts, we have characters, we have motivations.

All of these items add up to wishing for actions like these: appreciative words; flowers on the right day; a spontaneously cleaned up space without anyone asking; sharing freely; affection and warmth; cooperation; sincerely listening; not judging; space for our breakdowns; help right at the moment, not because we asked for it…

Then we walk into our days unaware of these well-directed scenes at work in our subconscious and measure the people we love by them.

  • "She didn’t even notice her mess from last night."
  • "Why are they fighting again?"
  • "Isn’t anyone aware that I need help?"

Once these imagined scenarios get a grip, we become easily disillusioned or despondent when we're faced with a scene that does not match our hopes.

Stay Open to Surprise

But sometimes, if we stay open, if we can hold back from projecting our expectations onto the ones we love, we might find ourselves surprised. The only part we have to play is sharing an honest feeling with our family members:

  • “Gosh. I feel discouraged. I can’t rise above the mess to see the good in today.”
  • “It pains me when I hear fighting between kids that I love.”
  • Via text: “Help! I feel abandoned and unimportant.”

Some days, if we can let it all out on paper or to a friend, we can then stay present to the surprise: an unexpected hug or love text, the clean up of a small area (even if not the whole thing), kids who repair their relationships without intervention from you, a surprise offer to get you a cup of tea or a glass of juice. Maybe someone will draw you a picture, strewing crayons and bits of paper in its wake but the illustration is priceless goodwill coming your way.

The gift will likely not look like what you imagine in your head.

I know what it feels like to spiral, to imagine that everyone has missed your obvious need and pain. See if you can get a hand hold somewhere (give yourself a pep talk—this feeling is temporary, you can take care of yourself, you will find your joy and equilibrium again), express a real feeling (not an expectation or disappointment), and stay open to the possibility of being surprised.

I printed the following reminders* for myself and it hangs on my wall.

  • Trust your boundaries
  • Follow your feelings
  • Choose your words
  • Be surprised

See how that goes…





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*Source: Rori Raye, relationship coach

Julie Bogart
© 2022 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




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