This week my daughter had to make some tough decisions. Her hockey team expected her, her softball team had expectations for her, I was harassing her, and who knows what else was vying for her immediate attention. Everyone had an opinion of what she should do and everyone felt they should be a top priority. How could she possibly make everyone happy, including herself? She can’t. How did she handle it….with grace, maturity, and integrity.
No one, but my daughter, knew or even considered that she may be in a tough position. None of us took into consideration that she had more going on than we knew about. I didn’t ask her and I didn’t respect her decision (not sure if anyone else did either). While the judgements poured in (from me), she stood her ground. She made a decision and she stuck with it. She did the best she could given the circumstances. In the end, she exhibited the confidence and internal strength to stand up and say…
“You dont know what I am dealing with at the moment nor do you know all of my commitments. No matter what others are saying, they do not know either….Start trying to be fair and understand that I have reasons for things that I decide to do. Let me express my values and character instead of chosing it for me.”
I was stumped…and in awe. This is what we have raised her to be. Someone who can make decisions that are right for her and not because of being pressured and judged by others. She is willing to take responsibility for her actions. She is defining herself. She is handling the pressures and the expectations of being a multi-sport athlete in a highly demanding academic environment. On top of all of that, She has integrity, grit, empathy, and a strong sense of what is right. What else could I possibly ask for?
Who cares what others think? They don’t know the whole story and really it’s none of their business. We should all be trusted to make our own decisions since we are the ones who will have to live with the consequences. Isn’t this inner strength the key to fighting peer pressure.
As an adult, I have been in this position as I am sure many of you have. It’s so important to feel like you have choices and that you know what’s best for you; no matter what others say about you. Don’t worry about what others think. Their judgement means nothing in the grand scheme of life. On the same hand, do not judge others who may not agree with you or don’t make the same decisions as you. It is a two-way street of trust, respect, and empathy.
Life does not come wrapped with a pretty bow. It’s messy. Each mess is unique. Let each person have their journey.
Be careful how you judge.
You may not know the whole story.
So to my daughter, I am sorry I didn’t trust you to make the right decision. I know you will do what’s right and I know you will make mistakes. That’s life. That is part of learning. Thank you for reminding me of that. 🙂