I have a friend who is a youth football coach. Well, he’s not exactly my friend, but we known each other through no actions of our own. So we communicate out of necessity not want.
Recently I reached out to this friend, the coach. Out of necessity. Because my heart was hurting and I wanted, no needed, to ask him a favor. I needed to have him tell his players that THEY ARE ENOUGH.
This need comes from a place of sadness. The kind of sadness that you can’t understand unless you feel it. It comes from the sadness of another young person who felt the pain of an emotional turmoil, who suffered alone from this internal fight that they took their own life. And I don’t want another life taken from self doubt, from the pressure of YOUTH.
I didn’t know the young man who committed suicide, but I work with his uncle. The young man was an All-Star athlete, lettering in 3 sports and a full scholarship in academics and sports to one of the most popular universities in our state. He had parents who adored him, and as the youngest of 4 he was adored by his older siblings as well.
He was popular, well liked by teachers, coaches, students, and parents. He was excelling in his first year of college. Bringing home great grades and continuing to excel in sports. But inside he was struggling with his self worth and he felt like a failure. I know this because he stated it in his goodbye note.
And after hearing the words of his note and learning the pain of his family I couldn’t keep the sadness off of my heart. I had to reach out to this coach…because I know how much he cares for his players.
So I sent him a text and asked him for a favor.
I asked that he speak to each of his players, especially the ones who were graduating in a few months. I asked that he tell them that no matter how stressed they get, especially in their new surroundings, that they remember that THEY ARE ENOUGH. That he is proud of them. That their parents are proud of them. That fans are proud of them. Even strangers are proud of them.
I asked that he tell them that its one grade, one game, one class, one relationship, one…. it’s just one… of many experiences they will have in their lifetime. That many more will come later. That as long as they do their best IT IS ENOUGH. That there is life TO LIVE. There is so much to achieve, to see, to learn. To not give up on life.
I asked that if they felt the pressure closing in on them. If they felt they weren’t enough, or that things were too hard, too complicated, too scary that they remember that THEY ARE LOVED and THEY ARE ENOUGH just the way there are right at that moment.
I apologized to this friend because we don’t have this type of relationship. I don’t text him, he doesn’t text me just because. I apologized for the long text. The randomness. I told him I was sorry for asking for a favor but that I could not risk keeping silent and then witness another parent’s pain because her child didn’t realize that he/she was enough.
And he thanked me. He promised to speak to his players. He said he would share my text, read it to them because he wanted him to know that the words were true, that
a stranger to them thought enough of them to ask him for this favor. That a stranger wanted them to KNOW that no matter what life throws at them that THEY ARE ENOUGH.
God bless, and be blessed.