nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance
this song is stuck in my head.
it moves me down deep in my soul.
that's how you know art when you hear it...
for the longest time,
tim and i turned to "man" to save us.
we looked to the experts to tell us "truth" about how we should live, love, parent...
we read every new book,
we took notes on sunday mornings,
we listened to the TED talks,
we even watched supernanny.
her line was that is unacceptable. we loved that. we said it too.
sometimes we’d say it with a british accent. just to mix it up a bit.
but the more we told our child that his behavior was unacceptable, the worse it got.
so we looked to other sources and other books and other experts for advice.
they all echoed the same ideas...
be strong. stand your ground. break his will. tough love….
our search led us to a book called how to help your angry child or something.
the author wrote about what makes a child angry.
he mentioned abuse, neglect, overly strict parenting, overly lenient parenting…nothing fit.
our angry child was growing up with patient, kind, thoughtful, educated, loving parents.
feeling alone in the universe...
we wondered if maybe "man" can't save us.
we wondered if we already had everything we really needed down deep in our own souls.
we wondered if "truth" is more caught than taught.
anger was genetic and not something he could do a whole lot about?
we accepted and loved our angry child just the way he was made instead of trying to change him?
we stopped telling him he was unacceptable?
would that bring down the wall between us?
so the next time he overreacted to his brother eating the last piece of pizza or whatever...
we rejected the advice of others that we be big people who overpower little people.
we stayed calm and quiet and said something like…
it is ok to be angry.
you are ok.
your anger is a gift.
you are bold.
your strong will is a gift.
you stand up for what you believe in.
your intolerance for injustice is a gift.
you are a gift.
you are powerful.
we are so proud of who you are.
we are here to show you how to use your power for good.
you can choose to not hurt people with your power.
and when you do...
you will do great things.
we are your biggest fans.
we can’t wait to see how you use your gift to make the world a better place.
acceptance changed everything.
camden and i cruised, swam with stingrays, and 4-wheeled through a rainforest together recently.
do not believe the self-fulfilling prophecy that your teenager will be all angsty and hate you.
we have found, acceptance leads to peace. not always. but have hope.
peace is not necessarily the absence of struggle, peace is the presence of love.
we still read the books and listen to the TED talks...
learning is a beautiful life long sort of thing.
but we no longer look to "man" to save us.
when you are little you think the big people know what they are doing.
when you are big you know that most of the big people are winging it at best.
when you need to know what to do, don't listen to the big loud voice of others.
listen to the still small Voice within.
or as our wise friend, john cassetto, wrote...
there will always be people wanting you to slow down, speed up...
but resist every urge to give those voices a place of authority over you.
...in the midst of it all, there's a promise we hold on to.
courageously stay your course.
"whether you turn to the right or to the left,
you will hear a Voice behind you saying,
this is the way; walk in it." - isaiah
still learning and listening,
tim and christina