Pearl of Inspiration

Experience belongs to someone else, until it becomes your own

By Lisa Markovits

“I’m telling you, I’ve done it before and it isn’t good for you!” 

This small phrase, offered with love from parents to their children, grandparents to parents, or between friends, often contains a sense of helplessness and frustration. 

Who wouldn’t want to help their loved ones avoid pain that they once experienced due to poor life choices? Especially when these situations can be dangerous?

The situation can be complicated regardless of the loved ones involved, but it is especially difficult to accept in the case of our children. 

After all, when a child is born, defenseless and dependent, it’s our job to protect and raise them. Sometimes, we begin to believe that our children are our property. 

Yet, there comes a point when it is best to let them leave the nest.

Letting Go Hurts Sometimes

This was the theme of the Neighborly Conversations dialogue circle this week. One participant, a women’s rights activist, is confronted with an awful situation: her daughter is in an abusive relationship with her partner. 

Obviously, being a mother, the first thing she wanted to do was get her daughter out of danger. However, when she tried to support her with well-intentioned advice, the response she got was “It’s my life.”

After all, the daughter has the right to make her own decisions, even when her mom could save her a few heartbreaks — or worse. It’s a situation that isn’t easy for either of them.

What was the pearl of inspiration?

During the meeting, the group talked of the necessity of allowing the other person — in this case the daughter of our participant — to take responsibility for their own decisions. 

By effectively recognizing that it is their life, we can accompany our children, but not live their lives for them.

Learning to understand and accept our fear is not an easy task.

The mysterious path of each soul on earth represents a unique opportunity to serve as an example, but not live others’ lives for them.


Our children have their own resources, whether from nature or from the education they received during their upbringing. 

In trusting their decisions, we demonstrate our capacity to value them for who they are with unconditional love

This does not remove the necessity nor the opportunity to seek support if we think the situation merits it. Instead, if we demonstrate our openness to be with someone without judging them, it will serve as the basis for a trusting relationship.