Tonight was my daughter’s and my annual birthday concert (hers) and, as usual, we had a blast!  Even better, she drove so I didn’t have to fight the idiots to get out of the parking lot after the concert (and believe me, they were out in force tonight!). 

Also as usual, we had lots of time to chat about everything under the sun, on the drive, before, during and after the concert.  One topic that came up again was how some of our friends will say “I’ll pray for you” when we’re facing a challenge or have something in the works.  My knee jerk reaction, heralding back to my teen years, is to tell them they really don’t need to pray for me.  The problem for me is that, back then, when someone would say they were going to pray for me, they meant that my beliefs weren’t like theirs so I must be damaged and needed someone to pray that I would see the error of my ways.

But what my daughter so accurately pointed out was that when the friends I have now say that, they usually mean they’re sending good thoughts to us through a means which is familiar to them.  Nothing more, nothing less…simply good thoughts that things work out for us.  I realized that I have been doing my religiously devout friends a huge disservice by, essentially, rejecting their kind and generous offer.  In my failure to release and forgive past hurts, I was hurting my friends who were only trying to be loving and supportive.

My daughter is right on the money when she says that it doesn’t matter what a person wants to call it.  Good energy is good energy, and when offered, deserves nothing less than gratitude for the offer.  I can only hope that, in my ignorance, I didn’t cause irreparable hurt to them, but for any hurt I caused, I am extremely sorry and hope they can find it in their much kinder hearts than mine to forgive me. 

I am ashamed to admit that I committed the same sin against them that was once committed against me, in failing to accept their different beliefs without judgement or rejection.  I don’t need to know or understand why they choose to embrace one religion or another.  The only thing that is important for me to know is that it is an important part of their lives and one I need to respect.  I put my foot in it a lot on this subject, when I could easily avoid it if I just stopped to think how I would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. 

I have to say that my daughter has grown up to be pretty wise, in spite of my less than stellar example.  This isn’t the first time I’ve learned something from her, and I sincerely doubt it will be the last.  I am very proud and honored that, once she reached adulthood and I no longer needed to be a parent and guide her, I found a very good friend in the young woman she has become. 

And I’ll admit to being a little teary eyed when the first encore song tonight was the one we used for our Mother-Daughter dance at her wedding last year!  The words will always have an extra special meaning for us:

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can haul,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

For my daughter Heather, I don’t wish a smooth, easy path as that wouldn’t give her the lessons she needs to find the tools to make her dreams a reality.  I wish for her, challenges to make her stronger, and loving friends and family to stand beside her when times get tough, keeping her on her feet until she manages to get past the rough spots.  I wish that she continues to set her bar high, and that she keeps those intentions coming.   She has so much to offer the world and many will be better for having known her.  And above all, I wish that she never loses sight of the fact that she is very much loved, appreciated and accepted for who she is.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons I learn from my daughter.
2. I am grateful for the way our relationship has evolved into her adulthood.
3. I am grateful for amazing concerts shared with my favorite concert buddy.
4. I am grateful to have a daughter who neither understands nor embraces this insidious sense of entitlement which seems to be permeating our society.
5. I am grateful that I am learning to open my mind and listen to differing points of view, and to find, with my daughter’s help, the gems inside those differences.

Love and light.

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