Life, Unschooling

Discipline and self discipline

“So, the most important aspect of discipline isn’t discipline at all. It’s this: Find the love. Find what you love about what you do, and channel that each and every day.”
~from The Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I have always thought of myself as a lazy person, as someone who wouldn’t do all the things that I do unless I made myself.

I am slowly discovering that this isn’t really true. Not for the most part.

Instead, I see that I do the things I do, I am self disciplined, because of love.

I may not love everything I do but I love parts, or the process, or the end result.

It has been love, then, that gives me self discipline.

A surprising lesson for me. Just as I see now that I don’t have to do it all, do everything, be perfect…just as I see now that I can trust in Mary, her  mother’s love  instead of rushing to do everything, even in my faith life….So now I see the role of love in discipline and in self discipline. It doesn’t have to be a  harried, must do To Do list. It can be a “I want to do” To Do list.

So how does this translate to unschooling? Where is the role of love, and of self discipline?

They are inter-related even here. We encourage our children to find areas they love and as they pursue their love, the self discipline kicks in. The love for piano and for the music helps make practice less of a chore, for example.

Or we model and encourage our children to find love in the process of undertaking something that of itself may not be a love. Enjoying music while cleaning and then bringing out a new toy or book or sitting down together to relax in the now cleaned room is one activity that springs to mind.

Self discipline, then, springs more easily when we focus on love. We can learn it along the way.

Reminds me of those stories I used to read to the boys when they were young, stories of virtues. Image

I should have listened to them myself. Slow learner that I am.


4 thoughts on “Discipline and self discipline”

  1. This is so good! I’m so excited that you wrote this. (If I had had my coffee I would be jumping up and down.) You see, not too long ago I asked my therapist, “What do I do about the fact that I always seem to be looking for a mother?” (Mind you, I am nearly sixty…and it doesn’t matter if the person is way younger than me, it was the nurturing love I was looking for.) And she said, “Nurture yourself.” I was like, “What?! How?” She said instead of saying, “I have to do something”, think, “I want to do it.” That idea never would have popped into my head as a way to love myself. But it was a first step in a journey toward better self-talk, including trying to talk to myself as I would a friend, rather than sometimes like a worst enemy. If you teach your children discipline borne of love, I believe you empower them both to accomplish and, most of all, and more importantly, to love. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts in your blog post, and God bless.

    1. Wow, Margaret Mary! Very powerful and so surprising that you found similar answers. Yes we have responsibilities but we can look for love in these and amidst these and love ourselves. And we can change things too, so we don’t have to have a life of only things we don’t want.

      And share all this with our kids!

  2. I was reluctant to read this post on self-discipline because I think I completely lack it!! The way I have been talking to myself is so awful, I wouldn’t talk to my worst enemy this way. I think it’s wonderful to think of it from the point of view of Love. I also think that in being more gentle to myself, I will ultimately parent with more gentleness!

    1. I understand. It took me awhile (just this year!) to realise that I don’t have to make myself do all that I do. I actually do them because of some sense of love. Let me know how things go with you!

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