I was glad I had my sunglasses on. My welled up tears were hidden from view. There's no question what the tears were in response to. In part, they were for my daughter, who opened up her heart with such raw truth and the words that poured out made me feel angry and protective. The other part was in understanding all too well how she was feeling.
I know exactly the feeling she had when she tried to include herself into a group (clique) of girls, only to be ignored. The word she used was sad, but lets be honest, that's not a strong enough word. I know exactly how she feels when she asks another girl about her weekend, only to be given a short nod and a face turned away. The words she used were, left-out. But again, we all know that the feelings are so much stronger than the words can describe.
We've all been treated badly by other girls. I know many women who still find self-worth in making other people feel bad about themselves. That's another blog for another day.
"Love your neighbor as yourself" has never been so clearly illustrated as it was that day. As we talked through her feelings, her reactions, and how she can pray, I was so proud of her. She is strong and beautiful. We both know that this won't be that last time it happens. More importantly, she is more aware of her own "mean" streak. As I type, she is uniting the neighborhood girls, who normally have a hard time with one girl or another. I can't help but think that she is really thinking about her words and actions because of the impact of our conversation yesterday. Growing pains are hard. With my girls I am hoping that with each trial and painful friendship experience I can help them to see how they can be better friends.
Here are a couple of the life lessons that were reinforced yesterday:
*Treat others the way you want to be treated.
*You can't change/control other people, you can only change/control your reaction.
*People WILL hurt you. It is important to confront in love, forgive, and move on.
*You WILL hurt people. You are responsible to be humble and teachable when trying to reconcile with them.
*Pray for those who hurt you.
I am so proud of you Olivia Joy. You truly are a strong and loyal friend. I am so thankful that you are letting me know you and aren't afraid of your feelings or of growing up. This isn't going to be easy. Be patient with me as I stumble through this parenting role. May we both rest in the arms of Jesus through the good and bad.