Lately I have been pondering what it means to hope.
On the surface is seems like such a great word. It makes you feel optimistic and positive. It appears to be very future-focused. Hope is the desire that something will happen. When you are experiencing a difficult time, people like to offer you hope that your circumstances will change.
But I think that hope can be an indulgent emotion, like confusion or feeling overwhelmed. Hope can stop you from taking control of your thoughts and emotions. When you hope for something to happen so that you can feel better, like hoping that your child is mistaken about their gender or sexual orientation, you become a victim in your own story. You are hoping for something you have absolutely no control over. Like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her kiss you just wait, giving up all your agency. You are waiting for the circumstances to rescue you from your pain and they never will.
Why is that? Because it is never the circumstances that cause us pain, it is always how we interpret them. I know you may not believe me right now, but at this moment, in your neighborhood, there are parents who are totally, viscerally accepting of their child’s non-binary or trans identity. It’s not because they are better parents, or more evolved, it’s because they are thinking different thoughts about their children than you are. Thoughts that empower them and allow them to parent from a place of complete love and acceptance.
I promise you that it is possible for you to be that parent and I can help you get there.