This year Hanukah falls at the same time as Christmas. It might even feel like too much – like the whole entire world is happy, and of course the flip side of that is that you might feel like the only one in the entire world who’s not that happy. Here’s what I can promise you – NOT everyone is happy. Almost everyone has some sadness. And your unhappiness is temporary. Being a teen is tough on a good day – and feeling shamed, or not accepted or loved – well that can certainly feel like a bit too much.
But here’s the deal. I am here. Millions of others are here too, loving and supporting you. No matter how you feel. Tell you what I’m going to do, and I hope you do it along with me. Every night at Hanukah when we light the menorah, I’m going to whisper a little affirmation just for you. Here are my eight wishes, eight gifts for you – one for each night. When you see those candles, think of these:
- One smile. At anything. A cookie, a kid, a dog. Whatever brings you joy – remember it, and tuck it away.
- A compliment. What’s that thing you do so well? Sing? Video games? Drawing? Think about something that you’re awesome at, and tuck that away too.
- Your age. It might feel like a long time until you’re on your own and independent, but I promise you it will be here soon enough. This part of your life isn’t your whole life!
- Acceptance – I accept who you are, 100% and without question.
- Appreciation – Not only do accept you, I so appreciate what makes you special.
- Compassion – I already know that by being who you are right now and feeling what you’re feeling, that you will be a beautiful compassionate adult with so much love to give. Save that feeling.
- Distance – If your parents or grandparents give you a hard time, let’s just say that that’s THEIR problem, not yours. Look at them from a distance and see their shortcomings. Whoever doesn’t accept a child obviously has their own issues because you certainly didn’t do anything wrong. It’s hard to shift, I know, but try it for one day.
- LOVE. I, and millions of teens like you, are sending you love.
Happy, Happy Hanukah. Don’t forget to see a drop of acceptance and love every time you see a candle during the holiday.
With Gigantic Mom Hugs,