Set Them Free

My daughter and I were driving down the road the other day listening to an old Sting CD in the car.  The song, “If you love somebody, set them free” came on.  I was singing along and embarrassing my 9 year old…

The song line came on,

If you wanna keep something precious, you’ve gotta lock it up and throw away the key.

and my daughter stopped me.  “I’m precious.  If you lock me up we won’t be able to be together.”  Words of wisdom from a young woman…  I thought more about the words to this song and realized how much the song talks about our innate ability to mess things up.  Not only the things that we do, but the things around us.  The bottom line is that we can really mess up the “precious” things in our lives.  I lose my cool with my daughters some times – true story – and I ruin a bit of their innocence.  My reaction to them at times causes them to harden themselves to keep from getting hurt.  

If I want to keep them precious I need to lock them away in order to keep myself from destroying the things that I love most – I see this.  But I also see how that is a weak method of protection from myself.  Why don’t I do the hard work that is required to change my responses?  Why can’t I strive to soften my heart towards some of the mistakes that they make?  How can I have both?  Precious kids AND time with them.

We owe it to the people that we care most about to respond to them in love.  To correct with compassion and empathy.  I want to enjoy my daughters, not lock them up to protect them from a harsh world.  My responses to them can set them free with love rather than lock them up in heartache and pain.  This is something that we can all work on…

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