Letting Them Walk Away
When generating interest in one new parish, I met with a woman who wanted to learn a bit more about Courtyard. We went for coffee and after explaining our vision and some of how we have engaged young people in the past, she was very positive.
She liked the idea of accompanying young people and loved the concept of welcoming them back to the Courtyard space in the parish to get to know them more. Where she was getting stuck was our value of ‘choice’ and the idea that we are only there for as long as the young people need us. There is always the choice for the young people to leave when they don’t any more, or refuse our offers of help in the first place.
As a mother of two young children, you can see why this concept would be hard for her. Why would you want the young people you had worked so hard to get to know to just leave one day and never come back?
How could she get over that kind of maternal attachment being severed if she had worked so hard to build the relationship?
After the coffee, and thinking about it, she came back. She finally understood: a mother has to let go of her children so they can flourish and become individual people, so too does Courtyard.
We are there to help young people through the difficult times in their lives, to help them take their first steps. However, when the time comes, we don’t want to be the shadow following them constantly when they are finally able to walk alone. This way they are truly empowered.