Six months ago, on our way to dinner, I had a conversation with my 10 year old daughter. I wanted to watch a movie and hang out with her for our girls night but she had her heart set on asking a friend over. I said “Oh ok” and she immediately changed her mind and said she didn’t want to disappoint me.
I pulled the car into a parking lot and stopped the car. I asked her to climb over the seat and sit next to me. You see… this was an important moment. This was the first time she had let my disappointment alter her own decision. I do want her to carefully take my ideas and thoughts into consideration but I do not want to become her voice. She has her own voice. It was a fairly long conversation so I will highlight a few of the points I wanted to make sure she understood.
You have your emotions and I have mine.
If it is important to me you will know, with words, how I feel. I will never make you guess.
If I seem disappointed and I do not say anything it is because it is MY emotion to work out… not yours.
Sometimes, I will let you know I am disappointed and when I do you will know you need to really think about why and then decide if it is something that should change your decision or your actions.
Never… be afraid of having your own voice!
I will always love you.
I only remembered this conversation when I received Gretchen’s guest post in my email. She writes a brilliant blog titled Drifting Through My Open Mind so I hope you go and spend some time there. Besides, she is always just so dang pleasant and it is beautiful. Please welcome, Gretchen!
YOUR REBEL HEART written by Gretchen
“Can’t stop the spirits when they need you, this life is more than just a read through.” ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers, Can’t Stop
I don’t want my kids to listen to me.
I don’t want them to fall in line.
Toe the line.
I don’t want them to take my word as law.
I don’t want them to assume I’m right about everything.
Not about everything… maybe not about most things. I have some wisdom to impart. But I think they are infinitely wiser. They have not yet learned to give in. To acquiesce.
I want them to go against the grain. Before the world convinces them otherwise. Before they are conditioned by the will of society to bend and mold, before they hear that siren of the dark that calls to them to worry about what others think. Before that takes hold, I want them to find their voice and their path and their own way.
I want my kids to be rebels. No, I don’t necessarily want them to defy authority just to enjoy the feeling of rebelling. I don’t want them to start listening to bad music just to piss off their mom. I don’t want them to go off smoking and doing drugs. That’s not rebelling. That’s self destruction.
But I want them to find their rebellious heart. The part of them that operates on instinct and their moral code. The sense of what’s right that resides inside of them. I want them to follow their hearts.
I want them to feel freedom. The freedom to rebel. The freedom to act on their convictions. To stand up when they see something that needs to be stopped. To have the courage and the strength and the confidence to take action when all others stand by shuffling their toes and whistling in abject avoidance. I want them to have the courage that I lack.
I don’t want them to be inhibited by worries. What would mom and dad think? What would my boss think? What would (fill in the blank) think?
I want them to hold on to that natural rebellion. The one they were born with. The one of the inquisitive nature, the exploration. The fresh eyes of innocence. The one that has no expectations and no guidelines. The one that will take chances and take risks. The one that will give them the freedom to become who they’re meant to be.
This is hard, as a parent. I want to make sure they don’t get lost. Make sure they don’t wander down the path that leads to danger or destruction. But all I can do is equip them with the basics. Right from wrong. Good from bad. The rest they will have to navigate with just my gentle watchfulness.
So this is a reminder for myself to let go. And a plea for my children. A plea for all children.
Don’t go the easy way.
That’s not being alive.
Trust it. That voice. The one that beckons. The one that scares you. Trust it.
If it scares you, you’re there.
If it fills you with angst, then you are flirting with really living.
Embrace the uncomfortable. That will be the thing that will spur the moments, the ones that you’ll carry with you. The ones that will show you all of the amazing you’re capable of.
I trust you to rebel. Your rebellion will be beautiful. It will be the coming together of words, action, art and meaning that will reach far beyond your grasp. I don’t fear your rebellion. Bring on the push. I may pull. I may test. But I’m counting on you to continue to push back even more. Stick to your conviction. Let no one, not your parent, not your teacher, not your minister, quelch the forward motion of ideals and ideas.
No one and no thing is too precious to be questioned. Be wary, be suspicious of those who claim to be above questioning. Those who are deemed too elevated to withstand basic query? Those are the ones who need the most scrutiny. Those who have nothing to hide welcome intrusion. They welcome investigation.
The rebels become the activists who change the world. The non-conformists and the anti-status quo. They are the ones that move us forward. I want you to reach into that part of you and find the soul, the heart of what motivates you and don’t let anyone stand in the way of your rebel heart.
Because it’s always the rebels. They bring life. They bring vibrancy.
The rebels create the best music.
The rebels make the art that stirs something in us.
So be a rebel.
Don’t let anyone dissuade you.
Don’t let societal norms take hold and change who you are.
Don’t ignore your instinct.
Don’t let the doubt of others hinder you.
Don’t let the scorn of those who are afraid of change dissuade you.
Don’t let them get in your mind and change you direction.
This is your path, not theirs. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of all you wish to accomplish.
And most of all,
don’t let anyone trample your rebel heart.
Dreamer, optimist, wife, mother of three. A wanna-be groupie:fan of music, books and movies. I am completely in awe of talent and those who posses it, intrigued by cultural phenomenons and their impact, and passionate about many things. I love to write but people reading my stuff makes me feel like I’m walking around naked. My desire to write supersedes my insecurities… at least for today. These things I write are the kinds of things I think about in the shower and are a supreme act of self indulgence.