You don’t empower someone by telling them you love them.
You empower them by teaching them to love themselves.
You may want to save your loved ones, I certainly did. I thought if I could take my daughter’s pain, she wouldn’t have to suffer. Make it all better.
My should bucket kept filling up in my mind – A different school? Talk to someone? Throw a fit? Keep my baby at home?
What would save my child?
My daughter is grown now, and finally I have the answer.
She would and will, by loving who she is. She will save herself.
When you know your worth as good, when you can be compassionate about your ‘mistakes’ you are ‘saved’.
I can give her love. But I cannot walk in her shoes or choose the road for her. That is for her to do. No convincing or fear required. When someone you love, values who they are, they are free to set boundaries, speak up, survive anything and be strong.
Your love for them is a bonus not the prize.
Now when my child hurts, I open my heart, beaming love and compassion. I don’t worry about finding a solution, I hold the space. Neither do I allow her to bully or blame me. I set my boundaries with love. For me and for her. ‘You are in pain, I understand. I am not a bad person because you feel pain. You have choices. What choice will help you bring out more love for you? I love you, I am here for you, and I love myself too enough to know how I want to treated.’ I treat her her choices with compassion, and love. I don’t have an opinion about her choices, because I support whatever she decides.
My daughter will make the right decision for herself, every time. Even if it is not my choice, I don’t know what that choice will bring, it is not for me to judge her best move. No-one knows what she needs better than she does. I simply hold the space for her to be who she is, in the best way she can be in this moment.
For many years, I lived with a lump in my heart, certain I was a bad mother. What was I doing wrong? Every moment was worry filled. The world seemed so happy, other girls had it all. What should I do different? That anxiety seeped from my body, drained my energy and kept me on a treadmill of dissatisfaction. Not every moment was bad, we had countless happy times but it is funny how the ego gets stuck on the few shameful experiences rather than the many joyful ones.
When my ex and I split up, I remember sitting in the car with my girl. That was our confession box talk time. I was sobbing, regretful, begging her forgiveness for being a terrible mother. You know what she said? ‘You weren’t a terrible mother, you were great and you did the best you could.’ and then she added- ‘Mom, I am not you.’
It was one of those light bulb moments. Oh. I had created this drama in my head from my own story and it was all in my head.
She is not me. I did encourage her to speak her truth. And she does, even to me. She never backs down.
I am so proud of her, and I am proud of me too. We have both learned to love ourselves, and every day in every way it gets better and better.
What can you do to find the love within yourself, so you can release the constant fear for your beloved family?
How can you help them to see how valuable they are in their own eyes? Start small, by swallowing back the fearful words you were about to utter. Instead connect with your heart, breathe in, expand that space, smile and let the golden light of that smile travel to your heart, tell your child how worthy they are, how good they are for making a decision that feels right to them. Stay in the love zone and practice forgiveness, compassion and gratitude.
Joie de Vivre,