Lesson 1. Waiting is worth it when at ease with life. My daughter, who, perhaps by coincidence, possessed the attention span of a six-year-old when she was six, became as peaceful and patient as a seasoned meditator while waiting in long lines for rides she wanted to go on.

Maybe if I saw the whole experience of life as one giant amusement ride that on a deep level I signed up to go on, I would be more patient and peaceful while waiting.

Lesson 2. Wants are wants, needs are needs. This separation is impossible for a child.
Aysia: “Daddy, I need you to go on this ride with me.”
Scott: “Sure thing, Aysia.”

Of course, as she got older I began to point out that she doesn’t need me to go on the ride; she wants me to. And If I did not want to, I found her a companion close to her age to go on with her. We did that on several rides that would have turned my belly inside out and upside down.

We adults act like children when we confuse are wants with our needs. Needs do not need to be met by a specific person. I can want companionship or to feel loved, but I don’t need it from you.

We become so much less controlling and enjoy the rides a lot more when we stop using F.A.L., Flight Attendant Lingo, and its accompanying consciousness: “I need you to put on your seatbelt on now.”

Lesson 3. It’s OK to say no and still have a good time. I said no to Aysia many times at the amusement park. No to cotton candy. No to staying there eight hours. No to rides that made the contents of my stomach…oh, I’ve covered that already!

Yes, her disappointment was felt and expressed. And yes, I heard it with compassion without caving in. And then we moved on to enjoying life again!

Feelings do not last, and when they get validated, they pass as quickly as clouds across the blue sky on a windy day.

It’s the stories we tell ourselves as adults that keep negative feelings around. Validate the feeling, trash the story, and get back to the joy!

4. Fear is nothing to fear. Scary rides can be fun! Why in the world would a kid want to be scared? Cause with a safety bar in place and permission to scream, fear is excitement in disguise.

I observed that the rides that went through the dark gave her a chance to practice touching her fears lightly and not getting stuck in them. These rides are a safe container that gives kids the experience of playing with, facing and overcoming some fear.

We adults can always remember, that no matter where the ride goes, no matter the ups and downs, the safety bar is always in place.

The safety bar is your eternal unchanging divinity.

Aysia had a broad smile on her face, and so did I, after shooting down ghosts in the pitch black darkness and surviving a tour of the haunted house. Victory!

Enjoy the rides. Tingle. Tremble. Breathe deeply. Scream bloody murder. And above all, be amused.

Loving You Right Now,

Scott Grace

PS. As always, if while reading you feel an inspiration that whispers something like, “It would be good to talk or tap with Scott,” please reach out to me. I love to assist people who are having difficulty enjoying the rides. 

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