My 3-year-old Amy has an awesome relationship with herself. Maybe there are some things we can learn from her example?
She is secure in who she is. When I recently complimented her on how pretty she looked in her new dress she said, “Thank you.” She didn’t tell me how cheaply she bought it, or complain about how she needs to lose weight, or even question the validity of the compliment with a “Really? Me?” How many of us are that secure in ourselves, to just accept a compliment with a simple thank you?
She lives in the present moment. Amy doesn’t plan for tomorrow or regret yesterday. She simply exists in this moment, as if it were the only moment. And truth be told…this is the heart of conscious living. She has it down pat! It is only as we ‘grow up’ that we take ourselves out of the power of this moment by worry, anxiety, guilt, depression, anticipation, and more…those feeling that keep us in the past or wishing for the future. How many of us routinely live in the here and now? I challenge you to do this today. Attend to what is going on right now, in front of you.
She is daring and unafraid. She learned how to swim when she was only 2 1/2 and has no fear of the water. She will swim to the bottom of a 7 foot pool to retrieve a toy. She will also jump off a 7 foot ladder into a pile of pillows on the floor. This doesn’t make parenting her easy, because she will try anything, but it does make it interesting! Sometimes the mother instinct that says, ‘be careful’, ‘don’t do that’, or ‘you’re going to hurt yourself’, tries to creep in and offer it’s warning through me. But isn’t that just projecting our own fear of the unknown onto someone else? Instead I try to encourage her to go for it! Yes, she may fail at times, or fall and skin her knee, but isn’t that how life it? How often do you encourage yourself to try something new or do something daring that is out of your comfort zone? Or do you hold yourself back with questions of self-doubt, fear of failure or the endless string of ‘what if’s’?
She loves freely. Routinely Amy will say, without prompting, “I love you Mommy.” As I was leaving for a class last week she shouted out the front door after me “Remember, I love you!” And she has no problems expressing to me when she needs love. She will come to me and say, “I need a hug and a kiss.” Imagine how your relationships would change if you told the people you cared about that you loved them more often. Imagine how easy it would be for others to love us if we just told them what we needed, rather than dropping hints, or getting resentful when our partner is not reading our mind.
Lessons from a 3 year old…..
- Be secure in who you are, there is no one exactly like you. See yourself as God sees you, His perfect creation.
- Live in the present moment. Not regretting the past or wishing for the future.
- Be willing to take risks, knowing that failure is one sure way to success. Challenge yourself, and you will be surprised how much you can do!
- Tell your partner, your best friend or you mother you love them routinely, and then make sure that you are stating your own needs too and taking care of yourself.