I prefer to write more about wellness than anything else, as it has helped me to find peace for my own life, but sometimes we need to talk about the nitty gritty stuff that gets thrown at us in this life. I don’t like to focus on it, but we can’t ignore it either. I’d rather spend my time talking and writing about solutions than shining a spotlight on the multiple problems we face in today’s world. But let’s be honest for a minute. Parents struggle with doing the right things for our kids and our teens struggle with obeying wisdom and often times surrender to peer pressure to fit in. What’s a parent to do?
In my 23 years of marriage and raising 4 kids, I’ve seen my fair share of teen drama and parenting skills (and mistakes) to glean wisdom from. When Scott and I married young, we faced tremendous opposition through his addiction. Thankfully, we overcame those years and had plenty of personal experience to teach our kids. We never lied about what we had been through and we do feel it’s made our kids stronger.
As a family, we served in the homeless and addiction/recovery community for 15 years. Our kids have seen shattered lives from the front row and witnessed how hard it was for broken people to get their lives back on track. Then my husband and I faced uncertain turmoil when our own daughter was hospitalized after following a doctor’s recommendation to use medicinal marijuana for her anxiety and sleep disorders.
How could she take something that we had taught her for YEARS to stay away from? How could we face other parents as we seemed to have “failed somehow” in our parenting? What’s a parent supposed to do when their legally adult child follows a doctor’s recommendations?
This was an extremely difficult battle ground for all of us, but we become stronger through it. Thankfully, it didn’t tear us apart like it does to many families.
The day we realized our daughter was ill, she had left her girlfriend’s house on foot (though she had her car with her). She was found running on Highway 1 (PCH, speed limit 55 mph) and crying, “I need my daddy, he was right”.
Parents, please listen to my heart. Don’t beat yourselves up when your kids make decisions you don’t agree with. We need to give ourselves grace so we can extend grace to them, because condemnation against yourself or them isn’t going to help either of you.
Navigating through such turmoil takes a lot of patience, love, and faith. I’m not talking about religion or it’s many rule keeping practices. I’m talking about having a faith, a hope, in something better. In something higher, nobler, and humble.
It’s deep within us all, if we just take the time to discover it. Any good discovery takes lots of digging and exploring. Digging through some personal trenches in our own hearts and exploring impossible possibilities.
This kind of possibility is like striking the mother lode. It’s a gold that is so pure you may not believe you even found it, yet there it is and it’s all yours. It doesn’t come easy and you’ll get rather filthy trying to find it. You’ll scrape your knees and your knuckles may bleed.
And when you see it, you may cry, sob, or shout ecstatically. For me, I cried…sobbed.. the gratitude I found in the exploration, prior to seeing our daughter survive and heal from her tragedy. To be truly thankful before having an answer. That hope you grab a hold of when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a life line I’ll never forget.
Yes, I utilized many practices through meditation to help me stay focused. Yes, I thought on stable and empowering mantras and quotes to keep me sane. Yes, I sat in quiet contemplation when I felt my world falling apart.
And all the while I felt a calmness during the storm that is difficult to describe. It wasn’t religious by any means. It’s not something an Atheist would miss. It’s not something that would be hidden from someone of another religion or spiritual practice. It’s not something any parent would miss out on.
It’s something that happens, I think, for any parent who sees their kid suffer.
Have you been there?
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