In my last blog, I wrote about keeping the cool the Iceman way. The challenge was to help our men with controlling anxious thoughts that can derail positive thoughts and feelings. It is that time again and I hope that some of your sons have taken one or two elements from that blog and are now feeling more comfortable and aware of themselves as they come into exam mode.
Being comfortable with who we are is about embracing expectations of yourself before anything else. It is important that we strive as parents and as teachers to provide the guiding light to our sons and continue to provide a lens of HOPE. Society tells us that people have expectations about who they should be and at times. Paresh Shah states that connecting with our true selves is challenging — we often feel a great deal of pressure to meet societal demands of who we should be or what we should look like, often in direct conflict with authenticity. Yet we have the great potential to unveil our true selves and rock the universe. Often, our young men are bombarded with images of helplessness through social media or on the television. They may feel it when they don’t make a sporting team or achieve the grade they wanted. What is it that we can do to help them embrace these expectations and move forward?
Enter the word ‘Faith.’ The Kingdom of God is a messy place and as Robert Burns aptly put ‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’ Faith is always there regardless of who you are. Faith does not judge. It is about connection, community and love, something that we can forget about when stuck behind technological devices. A 2016 study found that individuals that had a sense of spirituality live longer, happier and more fulfilled lives. And those that pray experience a decrease in stress, heart rate and blood pressure.
Brené Brown beleives that ‘Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.’ Blogger Tiny Buddha says that ‘By finding our true selves, we can express ourselves internally and to those around us, and that’s when we become aware of this symphony. We often get trapped in the little ‘self’, the false mask we put on to protect ourselves and fit in with others’ expectations.’
By embracing your authentic self you will enact a powerful change in the world around you. The Leinster men, pictured above, are taking time out in their day to provide H.O.P.E in remote communities and be authentic servants of Jesus. What are you doing to have FAITH to allow you to be authentic and embrace your own expectations instead of others?
Head of Leinster House