Does your story open your future to greater possibilities? Or is it limiting your love and leadership?
And the most potent parts of your story are the hardest parts. Pain, rejection, betrayal, trauma, disappointment, failures, loss, abuse - profoundly shape you; and how you've incorporated them (or not) into your story is how you got to where you're at today.
How you continue to manage your challenges and difficulties will determine your next chapters.
So is it generating love that produces authentic leadership? That is, are you becoming more and more of a loving person who leads others from a place of genuine courage and compassion?
"[True life-giving] leadership is love personified." Shayna Hammond (bracketed insertion is mine).
As spouses and parents, we can claim to have unfailing love but are we truly steadfast, humble, faithful leaders?
And what does it take to lead our families in this way?
When we are living the process of personal redemption, we are empowered with new capacities, abilities, priorities from a new mindset, a new spirit. This process radically changes our core beliefs and values to align with true love. This love will help us become life-giving leaders who generate and foster greater leadership in future generations.
Redemption is a process that releases us from outdated, limiting beliefs and rules and transforms our souls with liberating truth as we see and understand with a big picture of greater, unfettered perception.
This is how we make life not about us but about those we love, in long term sustainable ways rather than dysfunctional, debilitating ways like over-scheduling, over-protecting, spoiling, or doing everything for them.
What does it take to survive the redemptive process?
Humility and grit.
Not smarts. Not talent. Not money. Just courageous accurate assessment and facing of emotionally tough stuff and long term staying power. Abiding in a place of truthful perceptions about self, others, and God to develop a story that embraces joy and pain, love and fear, suffering and shame but also resilience, renewal, transformation and learning.
When we experience this level of change, our courage and compassion are validated and our love-based beliefs are vindicated.
As parents, we cannot afford to not regularly, consistently work on our stories. If we don't, we will fall into the pits of irrelevance and irrationality. Moreover, we miss the mark of leaving a legacy to benefit our children and their children and beyond.