There are no accidents in life.
An opportunity to make a new friend came my way, last week, as I was introduced to Seth Eisenberg, a fellow “Weston-ite”. Seth has 2 boys that are close to Trevor’s age, and we knew we would have so much in common, so we had dinner at Bonefish last week.
In getting to know each other, Seth told me about his line of work, as the National Executive Director of the Pairs organization. What he told me was so interesting, and as someone who LOVES gathering “tools” that better enhance communication and relating to others, I was drawn to his program immediately.
It just so happened, they were just launching a 2 week program through UCF, that would certify licensed therapists, clergy, and educators to be facilitators of the program. The program would begin on the upcoming Wednesday. It was Friday. 5 days to totally change my plans for the week.
It just so happened, Lauren was free, also, and Seth had felt positive that Lauren would get a lot from the training as well, so we made plans for her to pick me up in Orlando, and we would go take the training together. (That was why I was taking the train to Orlando, in one of my most recent posts)
Lauren is 20. Very self aware, but has always “wigged out” a bit when requested to discuss the “f” word. No, not that word. *F*eelings. That word alone makes her crazy. On day one of the training, when she realized we would be in there for 9 hours a day, for 4 days, I thought her head was going to explode.
But, 4 days later, I saw the most amazing change in my daughter. She was – well- communicating. She was talking about – you got it – feelings. She seemed to be able to have the most mature conversations, but the best part was – she was really listening. She didn’t listen to comment, or argue, or discuss. She just listened, and seemed happy to be present in her listening. Amazing.
On the last day, we all had a “go around”, to express our *F*eelings about the program. I figured when it came time for Lauren to speak (in front of 50+ grown ups much older than she) she would simply say …uh..yeah..it was really good. Instead, she really blew me away because she was completely authentic when she expressed how happy she was she had come, and how fortunate she was to have this knowledge, unlike many of us who felt that had we had this 20 years ago, we might not be divorced. She felt truly fortunate to have this amazing tool with which to communicate with everyone she had a significant relationship with. And I couldn’t have agreed more.
Tears pouring down my face, in gratitude for taking a risk, making something happen I never imagined I could make happen, and putting both ourselves out there to learn new material that just might change our lives, and boy…did it ever.
Lauren and I are both certified to teach the PAIRS program. We have visions of a Mother-Daughter offering, teaching parents of teens and teens themselves to actually communicate with each other. Holy cow, batman – what a concept! She wants to bring this program to teens independent of us, so that young adults can learn proactively how to communicate with the people that really matter. I want to bring it to the world. (Maybe I can start with my ex-husband???)
I can’t wait to see where this leads us. Stay tuned…