Dear Scott,
From the bottom of my heart I thank you for a very beautiful evening of listening and learning. Two days later and I still feel a high from the magic that was in the air, the kind of magic that happens when truth gets told and hearts are opened and shared. We began with your story, which fundamentally, as you pointed out, is everyone’s story. I am still absorbing all the loving wisdom you shared, and because of it, I am more in touch with the teenager I still am at 38 years old! Your words bring people together — across cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and generations. My 14-year-old daughter is not different from who I was or who I still am, only in the particulars. We are both filled with contradictions. As a parent I want her to grow in love and feel empowered. I also want desperately to banish all pain from her life, and preserve the innocence in her developing psyche. The mixed message I send is “You are strong and you are also profoundly fragile. You have all you need to soar, but you’re vulnerable to a bad fall.”  She gets that, and hopefully, the more significant truth: She is precious. She is so magnificently beautiful, and I know she doesn’t know that about herself. But I remember that I didn’t either, and most of the time I still don’t. Now I can relate to that part of her without having to make her trust what I have trouble trusting in myself. I can hold my loving awe of her in the most treasured and true place in my heart, and just be with her in her insecurity and in her struggle to reach out and to accept all that’s within. I’m learning not to try to negate her feelings of inadequacy, nor to co-opt them. I’m letting it all be, and I’m being with and for her. I knew all this intellectually before Tuesday night happened. I just wasn’t ready to integrate this understanding because it appears to fly in the face of the protective instinct of the mother I am. Your words helped me to break through that barrier because they were spoken in the spirit of absolute non-judgment, whereas unfortunately my self-reflections are unconstrained by such tolerance and acceptance.

Warmest regards,