Friday, April 22, 2011

I keep a rock in my purse

I keep a rock in my purse to remind me that people heal.
Back in October I sat on a beach with a young person I care for very much. She was very upset and with good reason. Life deals a different set of cards to everyone, but this girl got bombs instead of cards. Or something like that. We talked and cried together that day on the beach and continued to do that for months but in coffee shops as the weather had turned to.. well, winter. During spring break the two of us took advantage of the returning good weather and went back to that same beach. This time there was a beautiful rainbow and this girl was smiling and saying things like "I'm happy now." It was wonderful. As we sat there throwing rocks into the river I marvelled at the contrast from the last time we were there. People get better. People are resilient.
So I keep a rock in my purse to remind me during those long winter days, that the rainbow will come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ... | Video on

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ... | Video on
This is a beautiful piece of poetry if you have a few minutes.

sometimes that's enough

I don't always have the answers, but I often don't need them. I'm reading a book called "The Gift of Therapy. An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients." by Irvin D. Yalom, M.D. In this book he talks about asking long term, or old patients who no longer are being treated by him, about what they found to be the most valuable part of their therapy experience. He was expecting them to recount to him epiphany moments, or great bits of wisdom he had imparted to them, or the major steps forward that they made together. Instead of receiving these answers however all of the patients said that what they valued most was their relationship with the therapist. The fact that he listened and was there for them consistently. Huh.
So I may not have the answers to the questions my teens ask me, but I am there for them to ask the question to. And maybe, sometimes, that is enough. I care for them deeply, and maybe that's all they need for healing to begin.

what should we actually be afraid of?

There was a study about fear that was printed in the New York Times back in December of 2010. It stated that the top 5 killers of teenagers were, in this order, car accidents, homicide (usually committed by someone they know.), child abuse, suicide, and drowning. What were the top five things that parents across the country said they were afraid of for their teens? Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers, and drugs.
Our fears are misplaced. "Parents are just bad at risk management. We are constantly overestimating rare dangers and underestimating common ones" Christie Barnes author of The paranoid Parents Guide said. So instead of teaching kids to fear their own shadow when in public, we should be teaching them how to drive responsibly, how to pick good friends, to report abuse, and how to swim.
Interesting eh?