My old friend from high school posted a photo of his son on his son’s first day of high school, wishing him well and advising him to stay within himself and enjoy the experience. That wording touched me, knowing the two. It also made me think!
Staying secure within ourselves as we continuously develop our selves, can be hard! Especially in moments of transition and special challenges (like now). I loved how the dad emphasized fun and seemed to acknowledge that the process of being a self can be intentional.
Knowing the two a bit over time I had the sense that the words weren’t just nice words, but represented the latest chapter in an ongoing and open-ended offering of real mentorship and support. An integral part of this father and son’s relationship. At least that’s how it came across to me. And this seemed to me to be a great example of a crucial aspect of what people hope for and seek in our closest connections.
This kind of support and mentorship are also things people benefit from in therapy, if they need a bit more than what they’re getting or got early on. Or when they’re working through what it felt like and how it impacted them, if there were significant gaps, strains or disruptions in their feeling of connection in important relationships.
I’ve learned that the impact of gaps and hurts can be explored and helped with therapeutic work and plenty of consistency and intention.