My son is thirteen, and like most (read everyone) this is a tricky age for him. Fun, but tricky. Observing him through his teens is like watching myself at that age. Yes, he is a lot like me… and that is scary, frustrating and humbling. It’s scary because he is as intensely emotional as me, frustrating because his emotions leave him vulnerable to getting easily hurt yet no words of parental advice have any power on him whatsoever and humbling because all this brings out my mother in me.
It’s not a bad thing. Trust me when I say that I have nothing but great respect and admiration for my mother and the way she raised her brood of three, I'm really telling the truth. We might not see eye to eye on a few (maybe more) of her child raising strategies but that doesn’t take anything away from the respect. And in any case, being an absolute supporter of relativity prohibits me from passing a judgment.
Saying that I see myself in my thirteen years old son is not a mere comment on resemblance. It is in fact an acknowledgement. An acknowledgment of the ‘flaws’ within my genetic makeup and their contribution towards my son’s personality. But do I want to blame this technical detail for how future is going to manifest itself for me and my son? Am I looking for an excuse for what’s wrong or what might go wrong in times to come or am I trying to identify the SWOTS? I dare say that it’s the last of the three. More specifically it’s the third combined with a deeply brewing urge to stop, take stock and change.
There probably is no specific answer to how, when and why the change happens. But there has to be a specific answer to a rather underlying and mostly overlooked question. Did we change to feel grounded or were we stuck in the ground and wanted it to change… or both?
For the bulk of 30 unmarried years of my life my mother wished me to change. Change my attitude, my organizational methods, my choice in friends, my eating habits, my dressing up preferences, my splurging … so on and so forth. I scared her, I know it now (because my thirteen years old son has brought me the same fears). She feared for my well being, my future stability, my health and my reputation. God knows I never gave her a simple enough reason to trust my judgment …. BUT it could have happened … if only I could have found an anchor in my life sooner than I did.
To my understanding the analogous relationship between an anchor and a ship is essential for human life. Might that be with a person or a purpose, but an anchor (not an axis) and the awareness to use that anchor is what allows one to fly and float at will.
I changed… more than once… holding on to one anchor, I have been able to change time and again and now it has become a process… an evolutionary process… a process triggering growth both above and below the ground. My roots get stronger as my branches spread wider. This process has no longer anything to do with the anchor I am holding on to and in that way it is most challenging, most enlightening and most satisfying. My anchor has enabled me to fly.