Something happened recently that filled me with so much pride, gratitude and unexpected self-awareness.
Yesterday, my daughter told me this…
“Mummy, sometimes when I feel like it, I go to my room and shut the door. Then I quietly sit and cross my legs, put my hands together on my heart and say to myself ‘I love you’”.
She is 4.
Her statement blew me away. It was most definitely up there in the top five of my proudest moments as a parent so far.
Her innocence. Her beautiful heart. Her connection to herself. Her love.
It was one of those rare times when as I parent, I thought to myself “I’m doing something right”, and as a woman who has gone through a huge journey to self-love, I thought “hell yeah, girl!!”.
“That is so beautiful, darling” I told her. ”A very special gift that you are giving yourself. We will always love you, but it is so important to love yourself always too.”
I never want that to change in her. It is rare, special and something that should be treasured each and every single day.
It got me thinking though. When did it become ok to use the term “arrogant” for someone who loved themselves? I remember kids at school throwing around phrases like “she’s so up herself” or “she thinks she’s so amazing”… I was one of them. Let’s be honest, we’ve all used words like that. And we probably never knew how toxic that was. It’s really no wonder so many of us spend our teenage and early adult years being so damn afraid to stand out in our truth.
Loving yourself becomes something to fear. Those of us brave enough to be who we are somehow become ridiculed. So instead of standing out as individuals, we become clones. Terrified to go against the grain.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. And I will do everything in my power to ensure it is not like that for my daughter (or my son – because men need self-love too!). They will continue to know how special they are, but more importantly they will be shown how to love themselves unconditionally. And how even though they will grow and change over time, they should never stop believing in who they are. They will learn to take care of their bodies and treat themselves with respect, gratitude and love.
The best way I know how to teach this to them? Lead by example. I am who I am, and I let my children see that. They have seen me cry, they have seen me laugh, they have seen me meditate, study, repeat affirmations, question myself and move past my own fears. They have seen that emotions are real and that we should never be ashamed to feel any one of them.
I will always answer their questions as honestly as I can. Of course I teach them the usual right from wrong, but I also want to show them each and every day how proud I am to be me. They already know how proud I am of them, so why not show them how proud I am of me (and their Daddy!) too?
When my beautiful little girl uttered those words to me the other day, I knew that in some small way, I have been doing the right thing.
I want my children to continue to see that it is more than ok to love the person that you are.
Whether we are aware of it or not, the words, feelings and energy we put out in the world are felt by those around us. Both in our relationships and in our business. People can smell an inauthentic person a mile away.
So rather than tell the way, we have to show the way. Actions really do speak louder than words. What energy are you putting out there? Are you allowing those closest to you to see the person you really are?
If we want to make changes for future generations, it really does have to start with us. In this moment.
Celebrate your radiant individuality. Never apologizing for who you are. That is what true authentic living is about.
When we be brave enough to stand up and say “this is me, and this is what I’m about”, we begin to blaze our own heart-driven trail. And then there’s no stopping us!