WHEN IT COMES TO SELF-LOVE ACT LIKE A CHILD
As many of you are aware, I am a grandmother. My grandbabies call me “Mimi.” Yes, that was plural. I have four amazing grandsons and a granddaughter on the way. Motherhood certainly taught me a bunch about myself, about life, love, suffering, finding motivation and energy when I thought it was impossible to have, finding faith when it looked like God had taken a lunch break and was not taking my calls. I learned a slew about unconditional love, compassion, grace and learning what battles to fight and what ones to walk away from. Being the mother of these seven amazing souls that I have been blessed to care, nurture and protect through the years has been the best university that I could have ever asked to attend; however, I have not graduated yet.
As many of you are aware, in October of 2020 my eldest daughter’s son, Damieon was diagnosed with heart failure to put it simply. At the age of 18 months he was given barely any time to live. It was touch and go each hour almost and watching from outside the critical care unit, with my hands tied, I not only witnessed the potential loss of my grandson but watched my daughter, my baby girl suffer in a way that I could not fathom and could not do anything for. It was by far the most powerful, life altering, awakening, horrifying and yet beautiful event of my life.
The beauty came from watching her love.
From witnessing her listen to her soul guidance every step of the way.
I can only imagine her own terror in those moments, the anxiety, anger, fear and uncertainty and yet she was resilient, brilliant, and courageous. She lost hope all the time. But she was a force not to be reckoned with when she felt what direction needed to happen for her son.
One of the proudest moments of motherhood for me, was watching her strength in that time.
Through this whole event, I watched my grandson smile, laugh, play, reach out to his parents and show zero doubt.
He was just being a two year old.
To the best of his ability in the situation.
He played with his toys, watched cartoons, and shined his little light as bright as his human condition would allow for.
He was a perfect example of having self-love.
He allowed the adults in his life to support him, to love him, to fight for him.
He never questioned if he was worthy of this love, this healing, all these resources being used for him. He never looked at himself and said, “I deserve this crap happening.” He never cowarded to life, or to the receiving of it.
Children in general don’t until around the age of four where they start to play off of the world around them, and learn that the adults in the world have certain boundaries in place, creating an idea that we need to earn these things, that we are born bad and need to be edited by those that know better for us. Children do not question their cuteness, their lovability, or if God is there for them. They are not locked up in the troubles of the world, even when their lives are at stake. They just live. They love. Even when they are being hurt, when they are suffering, they still love.
Their innocence actually is strength, because they can see how amazing and worthy they truly are.
We adults teach them to shame themselves.
We teach them that their bodies are bad, ugly, not normal.
We teach them what is acceptable to look like, to act like, to want for.
We teach them that they must do “good” in our eyes so that we can be proud of them.
We program them to feel guilt for asking, for wanting, for doing, for being who they are.
We command them to look for our approval or lose our love, our attention, our pride.
We adults, not by our own fault, but because we are all victims raised by victims and therefore find ourselves living a life that has been passed down to us by those who only wanted to serve us well, to teach us the way the world really works, to teach us how to be good people. However, we often in our acts of attempting to “save” our children hinder them with the greatest debt known to humankind – self-hatred, self-loathing, or disgust.
We tell them they can be anything they want.
We tell them that we love them no matter what.
We tell them they need to just listen to their hearts.
To be who they are.
But we follow it up with a focus of our attention on all that they are not getting right, that they let us down on, that they are doing wrong.
With our best interest, we believe that the best way to parent is to make our children extra aware of where they are not hitting a home run. We put all our energy and attention on these things, and without realizing it we have hardly any energy to give to them when they do something good or right. We ignore or make light of these things.
Just this last week my daughter was over with her three sons. Her middle child is having some attitude issues and not listening well. She was saying that she was lost at what more she could do to get him to shift, and that she was exhausted from it. My response to her was, “ You gotta flip the script.” What I meant and explained to her was just this: Children want attention. They will try and get it however they can. We adults choose to support good behavior or bad behavior by what we give most of our attention too. Much like anything that we war against, that that we war against ( put most of our energy, focus, attention toward) grows. We expand it and give it power because we are now investing in it.
It takes children a few years to learn what is being invested in with their parents and adults in their life, from this they create a life blueprint as to how they need to be, act, think in order to receive what they want most for: love.
It’s easy to love a 3-month old baby with her big eyes batting at you and her sweet coo as she grabs her toes, here we have zero challenge with not correcting her, even if it’s during a diaper change. We just laugh, smile, make baby noises back and support her lovability. The adult wife though who is troubled with her work, who is challenged with her hormones, tired and suffering inside, who turns away from her husband to cry, her we struggle to not try and “fix.” Or the teenager daughter who is going through traumatic situations at school, being slut shamed, bullied and still trying to keep going each day. We can yell about her grades, about the extra weight she has put on, about her lack of interest in family and ridiculous mood swings or anxiety. Never realizing that what we are investing in is a life habit of not loving thy self.
Telling our children that they need to perform a certain way. Look a certain way. Show up a certain way.
And this my dear reader is EXACTLY WHY you feel the way that you feel about yourself.
This is why you have all that garbage talk in your head that now in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond wonder how do you change?
Your stinking thinking was created by you listening to what the world was investing in and would accept from you, and your desire to be a good person and get it right so as to not lose the love of those you loved, was the center of your motivation. And you are still looking to not lose that love, huh? You are still trying to figure out how to get it right? How to not rock the boat too much, but now you want to also be authentically you, except you lost yourself way back there to a degree. That inner child who loved life, who was creative, curious, fun loving and knew that they were worthy of love. That innocence that you now wish to retrieve, because it is strength to feel who you are, and know that you are a worthy individual.
To know that it’s okay to disagree.
To say no.
To say yes.
To ask for help.
And not second guess yourself about it or feel shame or guilt.
We live in a world that deletes each other because we have a different view of opinion.
If we don’t agree to agree, then we run the risk of being crushed. Of losing our reputations, our friends, our families, careers, and more. And we call this loving and supportive.
We say that this is equality and justice. We are cursing people for being born these days, telling them that they are shameful, guilty and wrong, just because they are not part of the “previous subjected.” As if two wrongs make a right or heal the soul of humankind.
We are an ill culture.
And the majority of our illness lies in the reality that we have not learned how to love ourselves or accept ourselves. We will always be irritated and easily angered by others until we learn to embrace this power of love and acceptance. As long as we see what is different as evil and want to hold onto sins from another generation, not willing to be different in looks, desires, opinions we will live in a world that will consistently stonewall and apply brute force to lock out anything that is not validated by their own ideas.
Emotional maturity is about being able to communicate in compassion, wanting to see all sides, even when we do not agree with them. It is about wanting to find the win, win in the situation and do what is right for the long haul. It is not about saying, “ You hurt my feelings. You think differently than me. You want something different than me, therefore you must be silenced. You are evil.”
An emotionally mature person can say they are wrong or that they are willing to sit down and talk through something.
An emotionally mature person, respects themselves enough to understand that they want to offer to another what they want given to themselves. And they love themselves enough to accept that they may have a different opinion and that’s okay, they do not need to be validated or feel bad for that difference, they are being true to who they have become, but they also want the same for the other.
You see the reality about love is simple: When you have it for yourself, you don’t fear someone else stealing it from you, because they can’t. You know that we live in an abundant and supportive world and that our differences are beautiful not evil. Love allows us to accept each other, just as we are.
Self-hatred and loathing… now those create fear.
And fear aims to control what it sees as different.
“If you want to know something about yourself, sit on your bed one night and say, “What’s one thing I’m doing wrong, that I know I’m doing wrong, that I could fix, that I would fix?”
If you meditate on that; you’ll get an answer. And it won’t be one you want, but it will be the necessary one.” Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
I challenge you to take on this meditation and see what you come up with dear reader,
For your future may be defined just by this moment.
In loving service,
Stop Existing & Start Living
“Coaching for Grown A*s Believers”
*** The picture above is of my beloved grandson Dameion. At almost 3 years now, he is walking, full of giggles and life. He is a miracle. After open heart surgery, two strokes and then having a full heart replacement, he reveals to anyone who cares to see the reality that life is precious and abundant and that we are supported.