Photo by: http://www.kimlorraine.com
I was out to breakfast with my husband and sleeping (yasss!) three month old. I’m not one to listen in on people’s conversations, but the booths were really close together so I couldn’t really help it. As I shoveled in my French toast (sleeping babies almost always know when you’re peacefully eating and WAKE UP), I overheard the BEST advice…from the five-year-old behind me.
LOVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS TOO, BECAUSE THAT’S THE VERY BEST THING YOU CAN DO.
I found out from her mom that it was the first thing that all the students said together before starting the day at her child’s school. If that isn’t starting off your day on the right foot, I don’t know what is. I also absolutely loved that the FIRST part was LOVE YOURSELF. Because, let’s be real, if you don’t love yourself you can’t really love others. I mean really waking up each morning and accepting your weaknesses and realizing your strengths. Sitting with yourself and loving it. This has never become more real for me than in parenting. My daughter is going to watch how I treat and talk about myself and others.
She is going to watch me Every. Single. Day.
Not everyone has to like me, but I have to like ME. I need to focus on what brings me joy, and also meet, accept, and pour LIGHT all over the things that don’t. I have to do the things that I am most worried about being “not liked” for. Case in point: this blog. I was talking to my coach/mentor about my hesitation with putting this out there. What if people don’t like what I consider wellness or organization or parenting or speech and language advice? Her response was “so?”
So what if some people don’t like it. You’re not going to be for everyone, no one person is. Which is true. I’m going to say it. I don’t like every person I meet. Some people are just not for me. BUT that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t show respect and kindness to those people. THAT is what I want my daughter to truly understand. I want her to know that in life some people will not be kind to her. They may say mean things, or exclude her, or even worse…make her question herself. But, if I can show her daily what it means to love yourself and others then hopefully when those things happen she will, deep down in the depths of her gut, know that IT’S NOT ABOUT HER. That deep down in her gut she will know who she is and how she wants to show up. She can stand tall and walk away knowing she is loved, by other people, but most importantly by herself.
LOVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS TOO BECAUSE THAT’S THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO.
You cannot control the reactions of others, nor their actions. But, you can control your own. You don’t need to be best friends with everybody in the sand box, but it’s important to show up as the person that knows who they are, and trusts in who they are. There are ways to negotiate respectfully, stick up for yourself respectfully, collaborate respectfully.
For those people that I don’t gel with. I want to practice shining my light just a little brighter, and moving away when I need to. Because, I ultimately want my daughter to know that she is strong enough to show up loving herself in any and all situations. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. Especially, if your knowledge of yourself is rooted in love and trust. It’s not my JOB to make other people like me. It is my WORK to make sure I LIKE ME. No one can “make” me feel sad or mad or happy. My reactions and emotions are mine and mine alone.
YOU are, whoever you are that’s reading this, adding SO much to the sand box. You are teaching others and they are teaching you. It’s all in how we look at it. So today, let go of whatever thoughts don’t serve you an extra heaping pile of self-love. Just because you think it…doesn’t make it true. If you need to take a break from the sandbox…do it. Some relationships are best served with a little extra light and a lot of extra space. A little love goes a long way.