It’s that joyous time of the year when you often hear stories evoking gratitude and appreciation. And, it seems almost everyone is on board with supporting the value of gratitude and ‘believing in it.’ This is the third discussion of the renegade parent’s perspective on parenting and life, and we will see that the Renegade parent not only talks about gratitude, but they live it. Their home is an ongoing source of appreciation and the family reaps the benefit. They understand the true power of gratitude to not only alter lives but also to transform the quality of their family home. Let’s see how this works.

1. It Always Begins as An Inside Game.

The Renegade Parent sees the world around them playing only the ‘outside game.’ The outside game is all about building esteem, fulfillment, and happiness through the collection of the outside stuff. In that world, they support their children seeking more trophies, accolades, and material ‘stuff’ …all in an effort to fill them with satisfaction or fulfillment.

Yet, the renegade does not teach or support this in their home. They instead understand that we all have a choice: The common choice is to seek fulfillment in the getting of the outside stuff, and most join the herd in that race to compete.

The uncommon choice of the renegade is to make life about mastering the ’inside game’ first. They model and support this at home, by refusing to allow their happiness to be stolen by events of the day. Marcus Aurelius, the infamous Roman Emperor, stated this centuries ago, “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will discover strength.” The Renegade Parent has this strength, and has nurtured the strong inside game by realizing…

2. Resistance is Futile, Frustrating and Steals Gratitude

The Renegade Parent realizes early on that resistance to life’s events is futile. In other words, life will often not meet our preferences or expectations. And if we resist something that doesn’t go our way by complaining, fighting, arguing, and throwing angry tantrums, then we have surrendered our well-being to external events beyond our control. Our surroundings then ‘own’ our emotional states, and this is pure misery making.

For example, most of us might throw a small tantrum upon dropping our favorite coffee cup. Many will scream at the driver who cuts you off or the ref who makes a bad call against your son. In each situation, the deed is done, and yet we yell or tantrum at what has already happened.

But to be fair, this resistance to what has just happened is universally understood, and many of us just nod their head in understanding. In fact, we may see it as perfectly reasonable and appropriate to the situation.

Yet, not everyone screams. Not everyone becomes upset. There is a choice here, and the Renegade Parent understands this. They choose calmness and refuse to indulge their own thoughts or emotions that argue with what life has put in front of them. This brings enormous ease to their life and eliminates many frustrations and upsets.

Perhaps more importantly, this lays the foundation for gratitude to evolve. Without this understanding, there is little room for gratitude. The habit of complaining, arguing, getting upset, and seeing where life is lacking hijacks the thought process, unless a more radical choice is made. And yet, this is not easy. It requires a strategy, and the secret is…

3. Choosing to Say ‘Yes’ To the Moment in Front of Them.

This is the opposite of resistance and is the secret to acceptance of life. The strategy is clear and reaps immense rewards. Say an internal ‘yes’ to all that shows up.

It may sound simple. It is not.

It might sound stupid. It is not.

And for many, it sounds scary. You might think this signals helplessness or give up. It is not. But it is worth the effort.

The Renegade’s commitment to an internal ‘yes’ brings immediate ease and eliminates fear and frustration. They are ‘at one’ with the moment. Without resistance, the YES arises. Now, in any situation, they have an infinite number of possible options as they are not caught in the dynamics of fight or flight. This is quite limited, and not useful or productive in most situations.

Most importantly, the ‘yes’ is opening the door to gratitude. With no resistance, the internal space is available to see the infinite ways that this moment could serve their family and their children. The ‘yes’ signal allows the Renegade to move with life, and in that flow with life, you can turn, adjust, go faster or slower, and easily make corrections. The Renegade is using the energy of life and working with the moment…not against it.

In the flow of life, the Renegade is then often finding gratitude. She realizes that there is something that could always be learned from the experience, and from this seeking, she often finds it. She realizes that almost every event can be a source for learning, growth, and evolution, and for this…she is grateful.

There is no moment that doesn’t hold this seed of possibility for the Renegade parent, and they cherish teaching this to their children. Every moment contains a true kernel of probable value, and the Renegade parent is always looking for this. Once discovered, again and again, gratitude is experienced. This is just the beginning because they also know that…

4. Gratitude Signals Abundance and Abundance Triggers Infinite Ways to Be Giving.

The Renegade uses the state of gratitude as their ally in another way that remarkably enhances their lives. They notice that gratitude always signals abundance and thus they find, regardless of their pocketbook, that there is always something to give when truly grateful. This experience, of having something to freely give, is what we might call the internal state of abundance.

While in gratitude, this abundant state emerges and discovers that there is always room for a smile, a word of support, a sweet nod of encouragement, a patient ear, an extra few bucks for those less fortunate, and even forgiveness. These giving moments accumulate in the daily experience with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers, creating a uniquely profound experience of over-flowing abundance…and even more gratitude. The icing on the cake is that …

5. The Grateful, Abundant Renegade is Absurdly Happy and Successful on Their Chosen Path

The research favors the Renegade model in many ways, both with the inside and the outside game. The grateful renegade is predictably happier, and in that happiness, they tend to be more optimistic, they live longer, and they live more satisfied lives.

The mind is an interesting organ. It has a predictable habit of defending and protecting its habits, regardless of the pain, frustration, and price paid. Thus, many other parents critique, ridicule, and proclaim the absurdity of the Renegade path. The Renegade does not argue, and in fact, does not care, as happiness and abundance are its own reward.