It’s the Humbling Moments That Change Us

For an audio version of this story go to: http://grindpodcast.com/2018/10/humility-is-our-best-teacher/


Fear for a young child can be absolutely crippling. What they fear might seem like nothing to us but for them it is as real as tears coming down their face at times.

Fear for an adult can be very similar. It can prevent us from being who we really are. It can stop us from living our dreams, pursuing exciting relationships, or being the adventurous kid we once were.

I had an experience the other night that was extremely humbling and it truly changed my outlook on a few things.


Bedtime at our house is a very hectic time of day. I’m sure my fellow parents can relate.

Our kids never really want to go to bed. If they had their choice, they would have no problems staying up all night. I’ve actually thought about doing an experiment and just having my wife and I go to bed first and see if they follow suit or just stay up doing their jam!

I get up early so I like to go to bed at a decent time. It might seem funny for some but I go to bed around the same time as my kids. I’ll start to hit the sack around 7:30 or 8pm. That’s the normal time for our family.

Our boys, Mason and Lennon sleep in the same room. We did that so they can use the battle buddy philosphy. Help each other out in times of need!

The 7 year old has some trouble going to sleep at night and wakes up fairly frequently.

He is scared.

“low-angle photography of trees during night time” by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Scared of all kinds of things. Some are just shadows in the dark and others are things in his head. In fact, most are just the thoughts of scary movies or different things he has seen on YouTube running over and over again in his mind.

Because I’m a Soup Nazi with my routines my wife has taken the main lead on handling most of these fears. She stays up and reads at night and I end up falling asleep pretty quick so she takes the brunt of this experience.

Last night was different.

It’s very easy in life to get frustrated with the things that don’t work out the way you would like.

You never know when you will get stuck in traffic, get a flat tire, have late flight, or have some other interruption that you are not prepared for. There are all different kind of reasons to get all down on yourself and have a huge pity party because life didn’t go the way you wanted.

Getting angry and blowing a gasket for no reason is one way to handle those types of events.

Another way to handle them is with grace. Embrace it. Even enjoy it! That is the true hack to life!

I’m a big baby when it comes to my routines. If they get screwed up I can get frustrated faily easy. Last night was one of these potentially frustrating nights. Since this is a daily occurrence, our patience has been running thin since we are either getting woken up a million times at night or just in general having a bad bedtime experience with the boys.

Personally I have some of my own fears going on right now with all different kinds of things in my life. Life can be confusing at times and the unknown can cause fear and it can really settle in and stop you right in your tracks.

As my son was explaining to us yet again why he couldn’t go to sleep. I decided that me stepping in this time was long overdue. There were definite feelings of frustrations going on in my head as I headed into his room to discuss and try and talk him down to keep him in bed.

Then something strange happened.

I leveled with him.

I started understanding that his fears were very real to him. This was absolutely crippling to the young man in front of me. There was no need for anger, frustration, or negativity towards the issue.

What was needed was support and love! The support from his Dad. Support that doesn’t come as often as it should. He needed to be listened to and understood.

I explained there were no monsters in his room. I explained he was safe. The issue was that in his mind, he wasn’t safe.

Instead of going down the logical path as us adults have a tendency to do, I went down the empathetic path. I decided to give up my silly evening routine and just sit with him for a bit. Then I decided to lay down in his bed with him and just be there.

As I laid there, it dawned on me what we do to other people when we don’t empathize with their feelings. When we don’t pay attention to them. Just because we don’t understand the feelings, doesn’t mean they are not real.

Just because we have fear, doesn’t mean we are weak.

I understand the power of routines. I also understand the power of habits. They can be incredible life changers.

There is always a flip side. In our hustle and bustle world we live in, I also understand the importance of slowing down. Not caring quite as much. Stop taking yourself and things so seriously!

These moments with our kids and the ones that are important to us are very fleeting. For some reason they end up on the bottom of the priority list when they should be at the top. We snap, get mad, get frustrated when we are interrupted. What we don’t understand at times is that these interruptions are bids for our attention.

Everyone is trying to get our attention these days. We can’t forget about the attention of the ones we love the most or the ones that deserve it most.

We all live with fear, moments of depression, moments where we are feeling completely lost in this world. We need to stick together and be kind, loving, understanding, and sacrifice some of your routines for moments of splendor, serendipity, and love.

In fact, it’s the moments that you relinquish control that can sometimes bring you the most important gifts you will ever receive in life.

Routines and habits are great and can be very powerful but love, fun, spontaneity, gratitude, whimsey, and laughter are the true spices of life.

You won’t tell stories about the boring routines you have but you sure will tell stories of the important and impactful moments in your life.

Remember, you are the author of your own story. You can make that any kind of story you would like! Will it be a bestseller?

Thanks for reading and I hope it helps you in your own journey.

Grind on and stay frosty!

JT