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Absolutely, my oldest daughter texts, posts, and video chats. Yes, she is acutely concious of when it is “time” to renew the wardrobe with a few new pieces from the latest fashion trends. Yes, she often rolls her sight at my “weird” behaviors. And yes, friends are at the very best of her sharing list these days.
While some parents drive status, monetary reward and upward societal movement for a children–none of which are poor per say–beyond those outdoor pursuits, my deepest heart’s desire for mine can be voiced most succinctly through Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true. ” EnLIGHTenment at its best.
This lady went on to give the case of seeing quite plainly that she doesn’t have to go anywhere specific (camp), do anything special (canoe) or be anything different (a camper) to come to feel authentic, open, connected and free. While she definitely views camp as a benefit, she knows that she’s enough just as she is with or without camp to remind her of that internal knowing.
Indeed, a typical adolescent in so many ways, Apart from underneath the North Face overcoat and the Ugg boots, behind the gaggle of giddy girlfriends and the fluorescent computer screen, and even beyond our passionate family discussions and distributed dinners, there lies a self-awareness and interior growing that seems unfathomable to get a child her age.
She promised me that she has not been “knocking” camp in any way and may choose to return, but any time she does go back meant for another year or three, it would not be because the camp experience allows the woman’s to feel more unique in any way. Her return might possibly be based on the conscious, bottom (soul) choice to attend simply because she enJOYs the experience certainly not because it is a “safe” destination to be herself fully on the globe.
She even voiced that the songs about sisterhood, respect, and caring, many with a “free to be you” theme, seemed a bit random to her now, providing that while appreciative for the sentiment, she hoped which usually her fellow campers seemed free to be themselves beyond the activities in nature, communal cabins, and family eating dinner. In short, everywhere.
With a palpable gratitude for all with the opportunities and lessons discovered from her previous camp experiences, she began to discuss her deeper thoughts on this subject and beyond. The girl shared that while camp is touted as a method to be fully and authentically yourself, create a sisterhood, extend a connection to nature, and explore your core because of contemplation and solitude, the purpose of it all is to arrive to understand that inner interconnection is available anywhere, anytime, and most importantly in the NOW.
Yes, my little girl has her challenges, her snarky attitudes, her experiences of self-doubt. Yes, your lady can sometimes be mean to her siblings, sassy to her parents, generally ornery. Yet nevertheless, underneath it all are ever-expanding and deep cracks of self-awareness, self-love and true compassion for others that will serve but not only her, but the world most importantly, quite well.
We do not need to go someplace special or do something out of the ordinary to live our own truth. In other words, freedom to be comfortable in your own skin should not be kept for places that we take a look at three weeks a year. Self-Love can be cultivated in all ways, always.
Whereas we encouraged all of our infants to try overnight camp at least once, we have told her that the decision to return is now totally up to her. As that discussion ensued, I started to be almost mesmerized by the girl’s capacity to articulate the woman’s vantage point on the subject.
I was truly blown away by her expression in deep wisdom that has applied many of us divorces, health diseases, and endless searches through different veins of the outside walls world to figure out. What my dear girl was saying through the example of summer season camp–one of any possible outer examples–probably resonates with most of us when looked at strongly.
Possibly not what I experienced a long time back (alright twenty-six quite a few years back to be exact) for the tender age of 18. Recently my daughter and I were discussing irrespective of whether she would attend, once again, a three week all girls’ camp for the 5th summer in a row.