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'From our honest evaluations of our failure, we can learn and grow to be better than we were before.'

At the YMCA we aspire "To put the Christian principles of Love, Respect, Honesty, Responsibility, and Service into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all."

We continue our reflection on the Christian Principles that guide the Sherwood Family YMCA. This month we puse to meditate on "Honesty." We define the principle as "living in a manner that is in authentic service to the Truth." Truth means that we are all worthy of love and called to live a life reflective of that love. Honesty is a light that shines into darkness and often reveals things that need to be dealt with. When we commit to honesty we also commit to vulnerability.

In the spirit of honesty, I would like to share a personal experience that I am not proud of. One of the mornings of the week I wrote this article, I was helping my son get ready for school on a particular cold and rainy morning. His kindergarten class was going on an outdoor field trip. On this particular morning he was being especially difficult. He was throwing fits about wearing appropriate clothing for the weather and it was causing my wife to be late for work. I had made multiple attempts to give him alternative options; I tried silliness and even stories to help him through his issues. At some point I allowed a line to be drawn in my heart, at which point I let frustration seep in. I had allowed myself to "lose my patience" and I stepped out of love for my son and began interacting from a place of frustration. I began yelling at my son and threatening to take away privileges.

It is one of my goals to parent from a place of love only. Even in discipline I want it to be for my son's good and not from some personal selfish violation. I had failed in that and my family rushed out the door without me giving my son his daily hug and kiss goodbye. As I drove off to work, I was deeply convicted and heartbroken by my failure as a father. That evening I came alongside my son and asked for his forgiveness and told him that he deserves better from me. Honesty is the willingness to face our weakness and shine light on it so that we can grow. It also is a beautifully healing virtue that allows us to forgive and grow closer.

At the YMCA, this is the honesty that we are committed to as we share life with one another. We practice this vulnerability as we share life. We are open about our successes and our failures, and that helps us grow in authentic community through honesty. At the YMCA, we do not want to pretend that we are something we are not — we attempt to be honest in presenting both all that we have to offer and what we cannot. Most of all we are committed to loving each other in community in honesty. We bind ourselves to the truth that love is authentic, vulnerable and merciful.

Sometimes honesty is hard, but it is always worth it. We strive to be honest with ourselves by constantly looking at areas where we may have fallen short or missed the mark. From our honest evaluations of our failure, we can learn and grow to be better than we were before.

We invite you into our community with open hearts and we commit to authenticity and honesty in service to you. We are grateful to be your neighbors and friends.

Ryan Buck is executive director of the Sherwood Regional Family YMCA.


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