Sleeping At Last

“Sleeping at last” – a phrase that applies in different ways to babies, young adults, and aging parents. I trust you find it meaningful in your current life stage and the ones to come.  

Sleeping At Last Related to Babies

My wife Judy mentors young moms. And one of the consistent challenges are babies without sleep schedules or with schedules unaligned with family function. I still remember the first nights we allowed our son to cry himself to sleep. We were challenged that growing babies have expanding lung capacity and letting them cry themselves to sleep will only take longer and be louder the more we waited.

We were assured this would not damage our child’s health or psyche. Now that he is a young adult, I’m happy to report that if he is in therapy one day, crying himself to sleep will not be the focus of those sessions. You have to find your way as parents and you may prefer a different route to the one we traveled. I’m good with that. Just know that I celebrate with you when your child is sleeping at last.

Sleeping At Last Related to Young Adults

I’ve talked about our young adults’ interest in Enneagram – a personality assessment and framework. My initial resistance to Enneagram was reduced, in large measure, by my exposure to the work of Ryan O’Neal who writes, records, and produces as “Atlas.” O’Neal wrote nine songs, one for each of the Enneagram styles and he has a podcast, “Sleeping at Last,” where he describes the creation of each song.  

Encouraging Parents

I encourage parents to find a personality assessment that helps you understand your child’s bent. And raise your child with that bent in mind. I’m still learning Enneagram, but I’m thankful for the additional insights it provides into the lives of our young adult children. “Sleeping at Last” is a wonderful resource. Our daughter-in-law is an Enneagram Nine. And I still cry when I hear her song because I see her (as well as our three children by birth) becoming who she is and is meant to be.

Sleeping At Last Related To Aging Parents

Each year, I write a family letter and send it to a broad range of friends and relatives. This past year’s letter has still not been sent. It began as follows:  Some years this letter is easy to write, others it is more of a challenge. This year is a bit of both.

We had a great year as a family but are struggling with new realities as my mom had a stroke on Dec 15. Today, on Dec 21, she began her life in heaven. We were encouraged by her confident faith and knowledge she was ready to shed this body for an eternal one.  

Shared Experiences

A week before her stroke, a client shared that his mother-in-law suffered a massive stroke. I listened, prayed for him and his family, and genuinely cared. But about 10 days later I had an entirely different appreciation for what he is facing. Empathy is like that. We borrow from other life experiences to feel with those who are going through events we’ve never experienced. Then as we move through our own events, the closer those two become (the event in the life of the other and the event in our own life) the deeper the empathy we can share.  

The mom I knew is sleeping at last. But the woman she truly is lives in an unending, pain-free reality where she has/is becoming the person she was created to be. That is our faith and our encouragement. I miss Mom and celebrate the woman who allowed me to cry as needed, encouraged me to understand my wiring, my bent, my personality. She will greet me again one day when this body is sleeping at last.

About:

Dr. Stephen Julian is President of Julian Consulting, a firm specializing in team health, effective communication, and leadership development. He has worked with leaders and their teams for nearly 30 years in a variety of settings – including Africa, South and Central America.

https://www.julianconsulting.org

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