You are SO lucky!
Filed Under (coping strategies, self-esteem)

If you’ve followed me long enough, you know that I’m no fan of ‘luck.’  (Click here for a previous post on the subject.) Luck, in the traditional sense of the word, is a disempowering concept.  However, this St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve decided to take the word less seriously and adopt a broader definition. 

Let’s agree for a moment that the word ‘luck’ is synonymous with gratitude.  We say to a  loved one, “I’m so lucky to have you in my life.”  Or to ourselves, “I’m so lucky I live in a free country.”  We may not actually believe that luck was the driving force, but still, we feel fortunate.  If we contemplate circumstances long enough, we can rationalize that everything in our lives required us to make a choice.  Even winning the lottery.  We had to choose to buy a ticket, pick the numbers, and pay the fee.

Some thoughts that have been fascinating me lately are ones that acknowledge how lucky I am for the things I don’t have.  When I consider all the events and challenges that could happen in a day but don’t, it immediately amps up my energy and appreciation.  For example, I could have gotten into a car accident on the way home; I could have become ill like many people I know, I could have had my cell phone stolen (perish the thought!)  If I run through enough of these worst-case scenarios, I start skipping through my day.  ‘Wow, am I lucky,’ I think. (aka grateful)

We all want things to turn out in our favor – on our terms.  We think we know what’s best for us.  Experience has proven that we often don’t.  Check out these lyrics by Darius Rucker in his song titled, This:

Maybe it didn’t turn out like I planned
Maybe thats why I’m such, such a lucky man
Thank God for all I missed
Cause it led me here to this
I didn’t understand it way back when
But sittin’ here right now
It all makes perfect sense

Forcing our lives to be a certain way could actually work against us.  The trick to letting life work for us is to know when to stop forcing it to happen.  You can’t push rope, they say. 

The first basic building block of self-esteem is safety.  A person must feel safe before they will accept challenges and build confidence.  We feel unsafe when we believe that life is out of our control.  Teaching children to appreciate what does and doesn’t show up in their lives can help them develop a lifelong attitude of resilience. 

  • Teach them what experience has yet to prove to them:  that all is well no matter what. 
  • Teach them that their lives are not at the mercy of luck. 
  • And finally, that every challenge is a gift – even if it is disguised for years as a setback.

With any luck, we’ll raise a generation of young people who feel empowered by their lives instead of victimized.

Questions and Actions:

  • What do you believe about luck?
  • What are you grateful for today?
  • Share an experience with your child about a time things didn’t turn out the way you planned, but did turn out for the best.
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