I received the following letter from a remarkable fifteen-year-old girl, and I copy it here without comment. It needs none.
Friday night was my prom, accompanied by the whole shazam: fake tan, manicure, buckets of makeup and—of course—the perfect dress. This could have been impossibly confusing for me, having been addicted to how I looked from age five. But I was pleasantly surprised at how different it all was for me after learning about Real Love and genuine happiness. What a change in perspective. I saw the prom as an Imitation Love infested fiasco.
Sometimes this new wisdom can feel a little isolating, because I found myself not having the same obsessions as all the people around me, for whom all the fuss seemed so important. But I still had a very fun night! I got to dance all evening with my friends, make new memories, and just enjoy myself! No drama or stress.
After exhausting myself on four-inch heels till midnight, I went to a friend’s after-prom party. Traditionally, these are drunken, wild, and stumbling affairs—as I had experienced myself before—so I was curious what this would be like while sober.
It turns out that watching friends get drunk and helping them to their feet after falling or throwing up wasn’t all that entertaining. It was interesting, I admit, to watch with sober eyes how people change when they're intoxicated: mostly how selfish they become and how ridiculous they look. I learned a lot from it, and I was pleased to bond with a few others who also chose not to become drunk and silly. My mother says that sometimes you have to sift through a pile of sand to find the gold.
I learned that many things people associate with Imitation Love—getting your hair and nails done, for example—can actually be quite fun if you have a foundation of love. When I first learned about Real Love, I struggled, because I felt like my mother was controlling me and trying to take away all my fun. Now I understand that you can have the best of both worlds—love and fun! I’m choosing the real happiness of love and responsibility, and on top of that foundation I become free to still experience all excitement, beauty, and amazement life has to offer.
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