Helping Those We Love - Part 3 of 3
The Kid isn’t really a Kid anymore. He’s over 30. How many of us know where this is headed? Have this in our own lives, or have clients or friends living with this weight on their shoulders?
The preceding is the opening paragraph from Part 1 of this three-part series. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you should go back and catch up first. This Part 3 picks up right where Part 2 left off. It won’t make much sense without having read the entire sequence.
Point #12 – This is how the parents help the Kid. The Kid is where he is. Mom and Dad want more than anything to see positive change. The thing they control, the very powerful ability they have to influence the outcome, is all about them. It is not even about the Kid. It is about cleaning up their own deep feelings, judgments, beliefs, and emotions. From this place, the best possible support, encouragement, thoughts, and actions will arise.
Point #13 – This is not about covering up. I need to be really clear about this. I am not talking about some self-help mentality that says put on a smiley face or be strong around the Kid. Quite the opposite. We cannot read enough self-help books to cover up what is truly inside ourselves. We cannot tape enough mantras to the mirror. This is not about faking it. This is a life-changing personal paradigm shift.
Point #14 – Parent relief. So far, I have focused on how the parents can be there most powerfully for the Kid. How about being there for themselves? This part of their lives has been pretty rough for the last dozen years. Do they want that? Of course not. Do they have to continue to suffer? Absolutely not. They can very quickly begin to shift the way they feel in a positive direction. Not covering up. Changing fundamentally. It starts immediately, and it all depends on the parents’ openness and willingness.
Point #15 – What happens next? Having coached the parents fairly intensely, I asked for a conversation with the Kid. I come from a place of possibility. I can see the picture. I know that things can change on a dime. I just need to have that conversation with him.
Point #16 – The Kid’s reluctance. Not surprisingly, when Dad called the Kid, he was not keen on talking with some stranger. I think he said something to the effect of “I know what he’s going to do”. “He is going to ask me where I want to be in five years”, etc. etc. Well, there are a few points I need to make. 1) I expect the Kid to be reluctant. 2) The Kid has had other experiences that didn’t seem to work. And, 3) he has no idea what I am going to say or do. It is not what he expects.
Point #17 – Act boldly. Acting boldly sometimes takes deliberate effort. When the Kid came back with a weak maybe, I asked Dad to act boldly. I was asking him to make this call happen. He did, and the Kid and I have it on our calendars.
Point #18 – There is nothing wrong here. I don’t see the Kid as broken. I don’t see the situation as bad or wrong. I don’t see mistakes, anywhere on the timeline. I see a fact pattern as it exists today. I understand we all are on our own journey. And that some of those involve lots and lots of learning experiences. (Mine sure has.) I accept the Kid and his journey simply as what they are. How can we know how wonderful the next 10, 20, 50 years will be? How do we know how the Kid’s future may have been positively shaped by his struggles and life events in his 30s?
Point #19 - I want him to move to a higher place. Without judgment, I want to hear his story. He is going to tell me about the mistakes he has made, how he has let himself down, how he has let others down, how he doesn’t know what to do, all of those things. That’s a good enough place to start. However, we will get down to what is beneath those experiences and beliefs. We will work on cleaning him up. And, the steps to move him forward on the “goal line” will begin to show up.
Point #20 - There is a plan to create a fantastic life for the Kid. He just hasn’t found it yet. He is too beaten up and too in his own way to be able to see it. That is all about to change, and it’s going to be good!