January 28, 2013

Letter to a Dissatisfied Child

My Dear One,

You want what you cannot have.  You want what everyone wants -- all the freedom and none of the responsibility.  You blame me because you cannot have it, but it is an unchanging rule of life.  Wisdom says it would be neither kind nor loving to allow you to have everything you want.

You wish that I would capitulate to the standards and values of this world.  More stuff.  More popularity.  In those desires you are being drawn by the oldest of temptations.  I don't blame you, but I cannot simply bless your being overcome.  I cannot stand by and say, Yes.

I cannot stand by and say, yes, to the lure of material goods and fame and glory, which profess themselves to be the highest goods and beckon you -- and everyone -- to worship at their altars.  My no is a lonely stand. I make it in the desert.  It is what marks the space between us and the darkness.

I know it doesn't seem that way to you.  I know that, to you, it is me standing between you and what would make you truly happy.  What I know is that the happiness you seek is false.  It will betray you.  It will never really satisfy.  You will get the thing that you want and that thing will be replaced by a new thing for you to want.  It will never end.  You will always want, but you will never have.  Your hair and skin could become perfect according to your desire, but there will still be someone who is taller...or with a better this...or a more desirable that.  You will never be satisfied.  You will never feel good enough.

The only way to be freed for happiness with regard to material goods is to relinquish the want.  The only way to feel good enough is to accept the person in the mirror as she is today.  I know that is the last thing you want to hear.  You prefer the pretty lies that the world uses to seduce you.  I can only offer you the truth.

On first glance, the truth just cannot compete.  It is small and meek, where the lies are big and bold.  It is homely while the lies are glamorous.  It is quiet; the lies are loud.  It appears to offer only noes while the lies cry, Yes! Yes! Yes!

Look closer, my precious child, and you may yet see that you have been deceived.  The lies are bottle-blonde, pancake make-up and glitter.

Now see the truth.  It is homespun, but flawless.  It is rough, but warm.  Pick it up.  You may be surprised at how weighty it is.  It looks frail, but it is sturdy, substantial.  It will bear the weight of your need.

I know words will never convince you.  You can only taste and see.  You can do it yourself, hand to mouth,  or the trials of the world will force you to partake.  Either way, the truth, and only the truth, will finally satisfy.

One last word:  In your resistance or your acceptance, in your fight or your surrender, in your flight or your rest, in your wallowing in the darkness or your standing in the light, I am there beside you.

With all my heart,

Your Loving Parent

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