I watched a video on Facebook this morning. It was the life of a girl set to music who died at the age of 22. I was destroyed. With each picture, as I watched this girl go through her life, I cried a little bit more. I couldn’t help but be jolted into the reality that life is so precious and so short. My own daughter is 16. Parenting a teen is so difficult for me. It’s hard not to feel frustrated and hurt by the constant changing moods. Someday she is fun and silly and other days she is filled with hate and anger. If I’m being totally honest, someday I let her slip through the back door and up to her room and I feel relief that she has not chosen to direct her bad mood directly at me. There are nights I go to sleep and I don’t say goodnight or take a last peek at her beautiful face. I spend so many minutes avoiding her or reacting to her instead of just loving her. They say everything comes to us at the right time. This video sure did. With each picture I could feel my heart change. Teens have it so hard today. They are struggling with new ideas and beliefs that are different than their parents ideals. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to feel like you are forced to be someone who doesn’t fit comfortably in your own skin. How awful it must be to feel unaccepted the way you are. Don’t we all want to be loved, respected, understood?
My daughter asked to go shopping this weekend and I told her I didn’t want to go. Guess what? I have changed my mind. Maybe we will go shopping and for pedicures and grab a bite to eat on the way home. Life goes by quickly and when we stop looking, it’s too late. Every day is another chance to get it right. To love, to see someone exactly as they are and to love and accept them unconditionally. That is the greatest gift of all and the best gift I have ever learned as my 43rd year of living comes to an end. That is the lesson I will carry with me. We are never too old to learn something new and I will never be too proud to change. Ebb and flow and flow and flow…Remember, you are the person you are today, not yesterday.
I was blessed enough to come across this poem. I hope you will learn from it as much as I have.
when I ask you to listen to me, and you start giving me advice,
you have not done what I have asked.
when I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
when I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems,
you have failed me (strange as that may seem).
listen – all i asked was that you listen – not talk or do, just hear me
I can “do” for myself
I am not helpless … maybe discouraged and faltering – but not helpless
when you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.
when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational
then I quit trying to convince you and get down to the business of understanding what is behind the irrational feeling
and when that is clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice
Irrational feelings make sense, when we understand what’s behind them.
so please listen and just hear me
and if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn and I will listen to you.