Miracle #44 - Tough Love Parenting “Holy Spirit” Style

Photo credit : Scott Webb

Photo credit: Scott Webb

Last month my husband kicked our 19 year old daughter out of the house.

It was 9:00 pm and she had nowhere to go. He gave her a few minutes to pack a bag and sent her out in the dark with no car.

Then he promptly changed the code on the garage door so that she could not get back into the house.

Her attitude had been steadily worsening for months. She was not following our house rules, was acting irresponsibly, and had developed a bad attitude.

When she came home in a pissy mood and was extremely rude to me, it was the last straw for her dad.

I thought she might end up staying with a co-worker from the restaurant where she is a hostess, but none of them would take her in. She moved in with a guy that she had just met on a dating app. And his alcoholic and bankrupt father.

In the past I would be been freaked out by this situation. I would have worried myself sick about her safety and argued with my husband about his decision.

This time I left it in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

I kept the lines of communication open with her by text message and agreed to meet her with some things that she needed, but I refused to let her back in to the house.

I also called the therapist my daughter had been seeing, and asked if she could see us all as a family.

I felt sad for a minute that we had an empty nest - a situation that I had looked forward to. But I caught myself, and remembered that ACIM says I do not perceive my own best interests. I don’t know what anything is for. How could I know if the situation were good or bad? My job was to let the Holy Spirit be in charge.

At first my daughter was thrilled with her new found freedom.

She got herself to work by paying her new roommate to ferry her around and using Uber rides.

Out family therapy went well as my husband and daughter worked out their long standing differences.

We even met her and her roommate for brunch one Sunday morning, and she was elated to be showing him off.

But soon the honeymoon was over.

My daughter found out that her two new roomies were irresponsible slobs. She went to work every day while her friend sat around the house playing video games. Both he and his dad drank and smoked and did drugs daily.

They happily took her rent money but never gave her a key to the place, so she was locked out a lot waiting for someone to show up. She ended up buying all the groceries, doing all the laundry, and picking up all the slack.

Then it turned out that her “boyfriend” had another girlfriend.

Suddenly, living with us didn’t seem so bad.

Within 3 weeks she decided that she wanted to move back home. We made it clear that she could only return with a new attitude.

Since she has returned, she had been extremely cheerful and helpful. She missed us a lot and is way more affectionate.

She had no idea how good she had it, until she had something for comparison.

This “tough love” period would have been agonizing for me before A Course in Miracles. I would have had a stomach full of knots and many sleepless nights. I would have argued with my husband about what was best for our daughter.

Now I trust that everything is happening for my own good, if only I am open to receive the blessings. I can’t always see the benefit of “negative” experiences when I am in the middle of them, so it sometimes seems like God exercises “tough love”

Just as my daughter couldn’t see how wonderful life was here until she experienced the opposite.

EVERYTHING is for our happiness when we let the Holy Spirit translate perception to vision.

Thank You, Holy Spirit

In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. Therefore, you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. Workbook Lesson 24