Simple Encouragement

Simple Encouragement® brings you Simply Encouraging® Expressions that stimulate and encourage your highest calling. Be real. Be encouraged!

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Simple Encouragement Book Series

“Pepper Spray!” - Speaking Light to Darkness

This is an experience that has played out more than a few times in my office through the years. Parents will share a story about a difficult behavior with their child, a behavior that seems resistant to any form of effective intervention or behavior modification. As they speak, I can just sense a deeply buried frustration and anger that a so-called “good parent” would never voice. At this juncture, I tell them that there is definitely hope. I tell them that, as an expert, I can offer a single strategy that will eliminate the problem behavior once-and-for all. I go on to tell them that it will be completely effective, immediately! I explain the concept of “single learning trials” and by now, they’re all ears. In fact, without offering to share they are pressing me to tell them what to do. With my most professional voice and veneer, I look them right in the eye and say, “Pepper spray!” There is always the release of immediate and shared laughter and this connection allows me to add, “But there may be a few other things that we should try first”. With a little bit of humor and two simple words I have spoken light to darkness, freeing frustrated parents from the bondage of shame over feelings of rejecting frustration and anger towards their child. This “intervention” always seems to free spirits so that creativity and “creative collaboration” can prevail. Sometimes we can be afraid to acknowledge the darkness within others, or ourselves, but we must. We all have the capacity for humor, and humor is light shining into dark places. This is Simple Encouragement, speaking light into darkness.