Sitting and talking with some quality girlfriends the other night really opened my mind to how thankful I am that I’m not a teenager anymore.  Growth is a thing we have to be willing to do and I love watching people open up to the experience of growing up. It’s so hard to admit that we are wrong sometimes and I can attest to that. I have had many relationships get harmed or ruined due to my stubborn will. I have to remember that I am not in control of what other people do with their life, and I am not responsible for their mistakes or struggles. Before I learned how to let go I had to learn how to accept advice in my life. Accepting advice is often time challenging because no one wants to admit that what they have done thus far in their life has gotten them nowhere.  We all have great intentions but intentions don’t give us results.  True growth is marked by letting go of your need to have complete control over the situation.

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I remember growing up and spending hours out in the front yard under a tree, dreaming about the day when a man would come driving down that driveway just to see me. I was not aware of the hormones raging in my body that helped build those dreams. Even then I knew deep down I didn’t need to worry about those things, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming.  Growing up always seemed so far away, and all those things I thought were problems back then are hardly even considered a problem now. I’m 24 and married to my best friend, and while I’m so glad I don’t have teenage problems anymore I have learned something valuable about handling them.  

While in reality it was probably normal for me to dwell on daydreams of ideas of who would sweep me off my feet, I can see how relationships can be hard for parents and their kids to talk about.  Because we forget that anyone older than us has gone through that same problem in some way shape or form. And they might just know what they are talking about. But the problem is in our own thinking. We don’t want to believe their advice because we want to figure it out for ourselves.  We forget that our parents went through the same thing; we like to imagine that their problems were different or easier than our own. But in reality they faced problems much like our own and they do know what to do.

 If someone has been there done that why would you refuse their advice? Do you remember your parents comforting you after your first broken heart and them telling you that it wasn't the end of the world? You scoffed and said, “what do you know?” but as you grew up you realized they did know. As we grow we learn to take in advice as a helpful hint not a criticism. To turn it away without even looking at it is like being in a race and being told about a shortcut on the track and choosing not to take it, when if you took it you would win the race. 
Taking advice is something we should always be open to no matter our age. Our understanding changes as we get older and we should be more open to taking advice and realizing that the source of the advice determines the direction we take. If I get advice from someone older and wiser than I am, I should first look at their life and see if they have results in that area. Second I should listen. I should highly consider what they say and if they have results that I want, and my current situation is getting me nowhere then I should take their counsel with the intent to better myself and become more. A sure sign of growing older is the realization that you don’t hold all the answers and you do need some input in your life to make rational adult decisions. Admitting that we don’t know what to do often frees up our brain and heart to make decisions we usually wouldn't have made and to take advice when we want to take control. Age and maturity are represented in not only our decisions, but our actions up to those decisions. So remember when you go to make a decision where you are unsure, seek advice from a reputable source. Seeking help is a sign of strength and maturity not weakness.

Speak Life!

-Jessica Smith Wallace


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