My sister sent me this article a couple of days ago. It was about parenting teenagers. So I really didn’t think it would apply to me. I thought I’d read it quickly and be on about my day.
Woah Nelly! That is NOT what happened.
I opened the article and began to read. . . and sob. It’s called “The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You” written by Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD. Here’s an excerpt:
I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in.. .
This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.
And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.
I sobbed because even though my kids aren’t teenagers yet, I could hear them saying some of those words. I cried some more because I could remember when I was a teenager, they are the words I needed. Then towards the end, while sitting in a puddle of tears, I had a revelation.
That’s not just a letter your teenager can’t write you.
It’s a letter all your kids can’t write, regardless of their age. It’s a letter your spouse can’t write. It’s a letter your sister can’t write. Your best friend can’t write it. And most of all, it’s letter you can’t write.
In our relationships, we’re all hoping the other person will say, I won’t let go of the rope.
I know that’s what I want from Scott and my closest friends. I need them to be strong when I can’t. I need them to hold the other end of the rope while I thrash around and find my foothold sometimes.
It’s not a fight we are in, but a season.
Maybe it’s a busy season and I’m not around as much. Maybe it’s a sad season, a stressful or a confusing season. It’s just that all the seasons will pass and make way for the new. I may thrash for a while, but I’ll get it figured out and I really want to know they’ll still be there. . . holding the other end of the rope.
And they are.
I imagine that’s true for you as well. In your most needed relationships, you thrash a little bit. You don’t always show up with the perfect love and care that you wish you did. You certainly don’t always present with your best foot forward, but you need to know they’ll stay and hold the other end of the rope.
We all need that from each other.
So what if today, you looked your child, spouse, sister or friend in the eye and said it out loud? What if you simply told them, Hey, whatever you’re going through, I know it’s hard on you, hard on me and on ‘us’, but I want you to know, I won’t let go.
I won’t let go.
Those words have a lot of power. They have power to heal, to set free and to connect.
They need to be said. . . and meant.
Think about it.
to more love,