Steering Clear

skiing the deep“Do I have to?”

“Honey, two runs a couple times a ski season, and that’s it.  It won’t kill ya, and it’s way better than a whole ski day with him.”

She buckles her boots and sighs, “I know.”

“I’ll be waiting for you at the bottom of the lift.”  I can see she’s nervous.  I can see her eyes are already losing their sparkle.  She’s dreading these two runs with every fiber of her being.  Normally she gets herself ready, but now she’s stalling.  As I wrap the fleece scarf around her face and neck I remind her that it doesn’t matter what he says, “You are an awesome skier.  Just ignore his words.”

 

__________

 

I’m waiting at the bottom of the lift.  She glides in line next to me, “So… how’d it go?”

“Dandy.  Just dandy.”

“Well that’s a word I don’t hear very often.  What’d he say?  And start by telling me what he said that was good.”

“He said I need to stand forward; hold my hands out; get my skis closer together; bend more; be more aggressive.  You know… the usual.”

“But what was the good?”

“Somewhere in there he said I carve good, but those words were buried by all the stuff I’m doing wrong.  How come he doesn’t say anything about Will’s skiing?”

“Because now Will is a better skier than your dad.  Instead of criticizing Will, he annexes him.”

“Oh great.  So he can’t just let us be.  Either we aren’t doing it right, or if we are, then he takes credit for it and it becomes all about him.”

“Yep.  That’s pretty much it.”

 

We’re riding up the chairlift and I can see she’s lost her enthusiasm on this gloriously sunny, Spring-like day.  “Hey, Jen, remember when we were talking about self-compassion and self-acceptance?”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“You’re an amazing person no matter what your dad says.  You are awesome no matter where you put your hands while you’re skiing, or how bent your knees are, or how much air you get on a jump.”

“Yeah, try telling dad that.”

“You missed the point, honey.  It doesn’t matter what your dad thinks or says.  I know it’s hard not to make his words important.  It’s hard not to let his words hurt you.  But you know – deep down to the bottom of your ski boots – that you are a fine person.  Those lame words are about him, Jen.”

“I know, mom, but I still don’t wanna be around him.”

“Jen, maybe that’s the lesson here.  Maybe this is how you learn to steer clear of people who don’t feel good to be around.  Maybe this is how you learn who you want to spend time with.  Maybe this is when you learn you shouldn’t change yourself to please someone.  Remember how this feels and steer away from it.”

 

Dear Universe, please let her learn this before I did.

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2 comments

  1. Oh, I am sure she will steer in the right direction! She has a great guide!

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