Post Pic for 3 11 2013 224x300 POSITIVE PARENTING   WHERE DO I BELONG?.

 

Everyone at some time or another has asked him/herself one important question. That question is “Where do I belong?”From the moment we leave our mother’s womb the process to become a part of a group begins. We start off with our families becoming our first major group.

For those of us who have siblings, we had to find out where we fit in with our family. In my family I am the oldest and I always felt that it was my job to be the protector and set the right example for my brother and sister.

There were times during those early years when I felt my parents were being unfair with me. I could not do all the things I wanted to do. It was not until I got older that I realized that some of those things were not good for me or my family.

At some point in time we venture out from our families to make our marks in the world. This is the normal way that we enhance our development.

Many of us have joined many groups during our lives in the quest to belong. In school we may have joined the debate club or the cheer leading team. I love sports and as a young man I played on the softball and basketball teams.

I believe it is in our DNA to want to belong to some group or organization. Sometimes it is the group that defines who we are. This could mean that we are continuing to do those things we learned from our parents or it could mean we want to travel in different directions. In any event we are all looking for that right place, that one place where we feel most comfortable.

Growing up as a young black male in the 1950’s and 1960’s there was always the question of where do I belong in this society. Even though we are all created equal, at the time we lived in a country that did not see us as equal. There were many times when I wished that I could turn myself into a different skin color. Perhaps then I would be able to fit in and experience the American dream.

During this same time there was a great explosion in the use of mind altering substances. It seemed that the mantra then was “It is important to feel good”.

There are those who think this was an experiment that went terribly wrong. Some say that these substances were introduced first into the Black community to destroy it. These experimenters seemed to not be aware of the rise of rebellion that was going on throughout the country at that time. It wasn’t long before these substances were in every community not just those on that side of the tracks. What do you think?

In 1973 I turned 21 years old. Along with my compulsive nature, I became a member of the feel good group for the next 20 or so years. It was not until I was sober for 5 years that it became clear what had to be done in order for me to belong.

I want to make it clear that this is my story. Not everyone turned to the use of substances to find themselves.

Wendell Jr. was 8 years old when I went to a rehab. Before I left that lifesaving place in South Hampton, NY I learned that this boy could possibly have that same compulsive nature that I have and it became an important issue for me to keep him from this kind of experience.

I now have an understanding of where I belong and how to continue to grow.

The important challenge was how to get this understanding into my kids. I have chosen 2 methods. The first is to not live my life through my kids. The second is to help them find where they are most comfortable. Everyone has a niche. It is my job to help them develop theirs.

Wendell Jr. has a true gift of gab and is becoming a very talented salesman. Deshawn, at 19 years old, is still searching for his identity but he seems to be leaning towards writing. Jonathan is too young to see where he belongs. His brothers and I will keep a close eye on him and help him in whatever direction he wants to move.

I now understand that all growth is done on the inside.

In order for me to know where I am going I have to be comfortable in my own skin. This helps me to know what I need to work on and it helps me to know what talents I need to exploit.

All in all I know exactly where I belong.

I am the guy whose glass is always ½ full.

 

I LOVE BEING A DAD!!

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