The blogging world is somewhat of a faux perfect world… bloggers seem to have these pretty and prefect lives… Not true. So, I want to come out clean here and be honest and say, no I’m not perfect and I do not have a perfect life.
Now, according to Tanya while we might not be perfect, we have the ability to achieve behavioral perfection. (If you’re mystically inclined, please go look up a local Tanya class in your city and/or buy yourself these to start with. You can also learn Tanya online here.) Our insides might not be perfect – only tzadikim are awarded that- but our outsides- what we think, say and do, can be perfect. (Read my post here for more on this). Aham… go try it. Takes a lifetime of work, but very much worth it.
This week my children reminded me how less than perfect my behavior has been. They had recently complained about a teacher that yells and somehow, in one of the follow up conversations, do you know what they said!? “You also yell.” They didn’t say it in a chutzpah kind of way. We were having a nice chat and they just mentioned it.
“What!? I’m not a yeller!”
They both looked at each other, and then looked at me, and said, (in a nice way, actually) “Yeah, you are!”
Dagger into my heart!!!
I never thought of myself as a yeller! (Ok a little loud, a little passionate… what do you want, I’m from the Caribbean, but a yeller!?)
I’m a big fan of Love and Logic and I know I still fail miserably at it most of the time, but to go from a few slips on being a totally cool and collected parent, to being a “yeller”… Red Alert! This is really not what I want for my children. Because, I for one, do not like to be yelled at! I really, really don’t.
And then, this popped on my FB feed from Sara Chanah Radcliffe’s Parenting Page.
“Why nothing is worth yelling about: because nothing is worth pouring that much dangerous stress chemistry throughout your system, because nothing is worth making yourself look the way you look when you yell, because nothing is worth destroying the people you’re supposed to be loving, because nothing is worth destroying the most important relationships in your life, because nothing is worth becoming the kind of person you yourself don’t like or respect, because nothing is worth becoming a source of trauma, pain and suffering. Unless you are trying to save someone from injury or death – nothing is worth yelling about.”
How powerful is this!?
It has been fresh on my mind ever since. So, I told my kids, “Guys, today I learned that really unless I’m trying to save someone’s life, there is absolutely no reason to yell. Nothing is worth yelling.” (Me thinking… the shoes on the floor, the clothes outside the hamper, yet, right next to the hamper… no, nothing, is worth it.). “Nothing!” (According to my husband, 95% of my battles with my children have to do with my obsession with an organized and clean environment. I will admit that he’s right! Not good, guys.)
The good news is… that I’m still far from achieving behavioral perfection, trust me, but I did manage to not yell for the past three days of this week, even in the midst of this minor disaster with a broken pipe inside a wall, water leaking, damaged floors, mold in our home – you don’t want to know.
Yes, I have not yelled. And guess what, I noticed that the kids’ yelling reduced significantly too! Any time someones decibles get a bit high, I gently whisper, “remember, we don’t yell in our family.” :-)
Now, let’s see how I do over Shabbat, when I have a lot of guests coming and my obsession with order and cleanliness tries to get on the way of my attempts to achieve behavioral perfection. I can do this, guys, I’m here to say, I will not yell, because really, nothing is worth yelling for. I’ll report back next week, and tell you how I did.
Do you think others in your life might perceive you as a “yeller”? Should we start a no-yelling challenge? I feel better already and it’s been three days! What are your thoughts on this?
Have a Shabbat Shalom!