For the last two years my granddaughter has invited me to come help her choose a prom dress. While she tries on numerous dresses, we take pictures and she decides if she will make the change on it. During the previous year it was all about a young man who led her to his idea of what beautiful was and even though she would be beautiful in a paper sack she did not look comfortable in her dress. She looked only for his approval and he failed to give her the feedback she was seeking.
This year we went about searching for a dress and she had her own ideas of what she wanted. She finally realized that she only needed to make herself happy. You see she is not dating the same guy who had no appreciation for life and what is precious. This year she was going to the prom with her friends and her current boyfriend was smart enough to take her out to dinner and release this beautiful butterfly to enjoy her friends for one evening. While he was not afraid to tell her how beautiful she was he also told her how beautiful she is everyday as she is just being herself. The two of them are not out to impress the world but to enjoy what time they have together doing the things they both enjoy. She has learned that it is smart to let each other have time apart for their own interests and there is time to spend together.
It makes me sad to see the differences in these two young ladies in the picture. One is so wrapped up in what others think she fails to see how she is being led to believe her self worth is in the eyes of others. The other young lady in this picture is standing tall, looking forward to what life brings and her self worth comes from within. She knows she has the strength to stand alone if need be but also the softness to let others love her for who she really is.
The lessons we teach our young will be with them forever. It is more important to give young people our time, honesty, love and support so they recognize and see self worth is so important in lessons of the heart and in giving of oneself to others. Finding when we rely on our instincts, we prevent ourselves from losing our own visions and dreams by making smart choices. It is also important to encourage them to seek counsel from those older and wiser to balance the ideas of other young less experienced friends.
Playing sports, picking yourself up and dusting off to face another day provides lessons of self reliance. Knowing that life lessons are there for us to learn what is important and how to relate teaches our young how to handle their vulnerability. Reaching out for guidance shows wisdom beyond years. I am so proud of the woman my granddaughter is becoming. She is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs, make hard decisions or show her caring for others.