A valuable Christmas gift....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yesterday was a very good day. Perhaps the best Christmas I've ever had.

    We've been talking here about leaving the past behind, staying in the present moment, not arguing with reality, not judging or comparing, allowing..........things I've learned a lot about with my daughter. Yesterday opened a new door for me which I couldn't have been able to walk through without having been practicing those ideas.

    My daughter usually brings her friend with her to our family get-togethers. Last time, on her birthday, my husband and he played guitar together. husband told me this young man was so down and out he had broken guitar strings which he had managed to repair rather then buy new ones which obviously he couldn't afford. Turns out he is a musician and a very, very good guitar player, husband loved playing with him. So for Christmas, husband bought him a couple of sets of new guitar strings. This young mans reaction just brought tears to my eyes, when he received the gift, his eyes welled up and he said, "thank you so much, you couldn't have given me a better gift." He got really choked up. It was obvious he has not been given to, at least recently. He looks like he has had a hard time of it. I just wanted to put my arms around this person and give him a bunch of love. He retreated to another room to put the strings on and somehow got all the strings mixed up and was frustrated. His lack of self esteem is so obvious, he was trying for an hour to put these strings on. My daughter went in and sat with him and with a voice filled with care said, "ok, lets figure this out, we can do this." The guy said, "I've messed everything up", he sounded close to tears. husband and I were in the next room and we could hear them. Everyone else was engaged in talking so no one else was aware. My daughter sat on the floor and for about an hour helped him to get it all worked out. She was patient, compassionate and helped in a way that did not diminish him but empowered him. He got his guitar together and played. He can play like an angel.

    While we were talking later on, my daughter told us that she has gotten many of her friends to go to my acupuncturist. She has helped her friends get jobs, get help, get services, she has become a "helper" to the people I might consider to be folks living on the fringes........the forgotten ones many can't see. It's a part of my daughter I had not seen before. The compassion and presence she showed the man about his guitar strings is such a vivid picture for me, my husband was as impressed as I was with her ability to show up for him and offer such kindness.

    I can look back and see how my angers and judgements, my own resentments and hurts, although justified, prevented me from seeing the whole picture of my daughter. And, I had to look at my own judgements about people who look a certain way, or live a certain way.........realizing that underneath those perceptions I had, are people with stories, people who are down and out for whatever reason, people with talents and fears, hurts and feelings, like me. My daughter doesn't have that judgement. When I look back in time, I realize she never did, she is able to walk in these circles comfortably offering help without judgement or attachment. This is not an either or thing, she has made monumental mistakes with her own family, with me, she's hurt others, but that is not ALL she is, there are other components of her that I am only beginning to see and understand. And, I am able to do that because of letting go, allowing, not judging, not comparing, and staying here in the present moment. It has been an interesting experience. It's opened up whole new vistas for me, in many different ways.

    I practice every day on staying present, on letting go of the past and not slipping in to future thinking, on really, letting go, letting go of a lot of 'stuff,' stuff which just takes place in my own mind, my constant barrage of thoughts about right and wrong, good and bad, geez, it's tiring to have all those judgements about life all the time...........staying in the moment somehow releases me from all of that stuff and frees me to just be here.........being present in the moment where I can witness the beauty of right now........like last night with my daughter and her friend...........husband and I are still talking about my daughter's calm and caring responses to her friend and to the others in her life.........in her own way, she is being a support to those in her direct sphere. For the first time, I feel proud of her. I am so happy to feel that.

    Three years ago, right after Christmas, I joined this board on a very dark and tumultuous time in my life.......something I see on this board frequently, parents showing up in the midst of the worst nightmare of their lives, watching their kids go off the rails in one way or another and being on the sidelines helpless to prevent it. With a whole lot of support and a whole lot of change, my life has improved in every possible way by practicing detachment, by letting go of what I can't control and by accepting life as it is rather than how I want it to be........it has been the most devastating experience and conversely the most enlightening. I am forever grateful for this forum, for those in my life who love me and for my ability as a human being to grow and change.

    This Christmas, I got the most valuable gift, I got to love my daughter unconditionally. What an amazing gift for me.
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  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    What a beautiful post... Merry Christmas!! :)
  3. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh RE, what an absolutely beautiful post. My eyes welled up too, about all of it. Honestly, you had me at husband giving him the guitar strings!

    Your daughter has just been quietly doing good, being somebody's angel for a little while, somebody who might not feel safe turning to anyone else. How wonderful that you got to see that. What a Christmas gift.

    I wrote on another thread that my son's trip, while definitely NOT being something I could ever imagine doing, has led me to try to do a little less controlling and a little more adventuring. I think maybe it's a similar thing. It's so nice to just see them for a little while as people, instead of projects! It doesn't negate all the crapola they've put us through, but it does help so much to just not make that the focus of the relationship!
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  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

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  5. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    I'm like just Wow, just Wow

    Where I hope to be one day. and, happy for you and your daughter with her loving spirit
  6. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    What a lovely post, RE. I'm so tickled that you secretly got to see that side of her, when she didn't even realize you'd heard. That's the best gift of all.

    It was so thoughtful of husband also to give the guitar strings; a small gesture that had such a huge impact. I think you all experienced a Christmas miracle in one way or another.

    Peace to you!
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  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Your daughter has found her life purpose. She is able to reach those she helps because they can relate to her. She does not judge them.
  8. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I'm just catching up on my forum reading, and wanted to thank you for sharing this remarkable day with us, RE. How inspiring that you were able to see this side of your daughter and to recognize the beauty of her spirit.
  9. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    RE -- Your post is so beautiful!


    Even more beautiful....

    Most beautiful of all. This paragraph I will take with me into tomorrow and the day after and the day after....
  10. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Thank you for starting such a lovely happy thread.

    As Alb says, it's so great when we see our sons and daughters as nice people, not just problems and projects.

    Happy New Year
    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda