May You Be Heard
Filed Under (feelings)
My daughter’s bedroom has a secret door in the closet.  It’s the type of door one hesitates to open for the first time for fear of any number of unrealistic scary-movie scenarios.  I’ve managed to avoid entering this unusable, unfinished space in the five years I’ve lived in the house.  But after a week of heavy rain and a leak in the ceiling below, I was forced to explore the mysterious eve.
Flashlight in hand, I ducked through the three-foot door and masses of cobwebs into the abyss.  To my surprise, I discovered signs of life in addition to the expected rodents.  Several boards were laid across the beams as a makeshift floor.  Under the pitched roof’s center was a small folding table and a lamp.  Turning on the lamp revealed a hidden world of shared secrets.  Across every beam, written with permanent marker, were declarations of unrequited love, promises between BFFs, and carefully planned instructions for all “future residents of Rostonia” – the name given to this magical space.  I had uncovered a Secret Garden.
Forgetting my current purpose, I stood, awestruck, absorbing the magnitude of hidden emotions before me.  With each passage I read, my mind formed images of forlorn tweens and teens bursting through a secret veil.  The common themes – love and fear.  Love for girlfriends, boyfriends, family, and teachers.  And fear of losing any of them.  I am temporarily caught between the worlds of the teen that I was and the teen that I have.  I ache for both.
Through adult eyes I see the overwhelming human need for self-expression and acknowledgement.  The need to be heard and to be recognized.  The fear of gettting left behind.  The longing to matter in the world.  I am comforted by the belief that we do survive our inner doubts, even though they never really disappear, but simply fade. 
I take a last look around this sacred space and smile, uttering a silent blessing to the young girls, prbably grown women now, who have found some sense of comfort and comraderie in these walls.  May you be heard, be loved, and know that you are not alone.
Questions and Actions:
  • What emotions need a voice within you?
  • What were your innermost fears as a tween and teen?  Are they similar to those of your children?  Find out.
  • Ask a young person, “what is one thing you wish people knew about you?”  “If you weren’t afraid of looking foolish, what would you do?”
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