WHITNEY CAIN, PHD

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Don't Make Me Introduce You to My Teenage Gangster

My youngest tried out for one of those blasted soccer leagues.  It was a longshot, but it still hurt our hearts when he didn’t make it.  I know this isn’t a big deal in the grand – or small – scheme.  He has parents who adore him and all the creature comforts he could want, let alone need.  Plus, supported fails help us grow and develop resilience. 

Yet despite this knowing, a teenaged mobster voice in my head advised looking up the coaches’ addresses and putting horse heads in their mailboxes and pickles in their gas tanks.  The recommendations came in an odd accent reflecting both East Tennessee and North Italy.

Byron Katie is among Oprah’s gurus and like many of the others in this set, she is enlightened just past the point of being reasonable or fun at a party.  She emerged from her own hard knock story committed to loving what is.  For Katie, things unfold just as they are meant to unfold.  The proof is in their unfolding.  She advocates appreciating the Universe’s wisdom in all we had, have, and are going to get.

It’s hard for me to get on board with these ideas in the context of injustice, tragedy or violence.  I can apply Katie’s beliefs more easily to my story and those of my loved, well fed, and gently handled children, but I still struggle a bit.  I just can’t see how my 8-year-old’s soccer opportunities find rank in the Master or Mistress of the Universe’s list of concerns.

On the other hand, I believe our ability to find joy, connection, and love rank high on the list.  We need these to be our best selves and to do our best work.  And here’s the good news:  My boy still has access to those, regardless of his soccer status. 

So I’ll let Byron Katie have this one.  I’ll choose to believe when it comes to non-tragic, really-it’ll-be-okay-either-way situations, whatever happens is fine.  I’ll do my best to love the outcomes.  I’ll tell my teenage gangster to quiet down and go back to watching Godfather marathons.  But coaches, fair warning:  She’s a wily one. 

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Godfather Image:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevetroughton/17097381065

Whitney Cain