As I was sitting here trying to figure out what I should do with my day, I was struck by the thought that I really don't know how to take care of myself. I have been so inundated with the thoughts of others my whole life that I don't know how to take care of myself and how to protect myself. I don't know how to do just about anything because I am afraid of how it will make me look to others.
I know I'm a good friend, and a good mother and I was a good daughter to my parents. I'm kind, compassionate, a good listener, a pretty good artist and I love to write and tell tales. Hence the blog. And yet I know that somehow when I was a child I got the idea that I was never quite good enough being just me. I had to be smarter, taller, quieter, thinner, more industrious. In other words I just had to be somebody else or so I thought. I've thought that same thought every single day of my life.
So instead of trying to sugar coat my day, I've decided to take a risk and explain what happens to our kids when we love them too much. It's kind of an addendum to my earlier blog post. You can love a kid all you want, you can give them everything they need. I had a great mother, she was everything to me when I was a kid. But if you send them off to school and somebody else has a bad day and your kid isn't just like every other kid, someone is going to take your beautiful child and make them feel ugly. And if it happens in kindergarten and follows through til high school, they are going to find other people in their life that make them feel ugly too.
If you child happens to be a little overweight, don't tell them they are fat and put them on a diet. Slice up an apple, take one slice say this is delicious want some, and give them the apple. Because if you tell them they are fat they will believe that every day of their lives. If you have a talker, don't make up cute nicknames like gabby gut or chatterbox. They will still be a talker but then they will not know their own voice, only the voices of those who are meaner and nastier then they are.
If you have a dreamer, let them dream. As long as they don't hurt anyone let them dream that they can be a fireman or a nurse or a dancer or an artist. They could be if they believe in themselves enough, but if they don't they will struggle in mediocrity the rest of their lives. Everyone knows a kid like that, heck I am a kid like that.
Let them laugh, let them play, let them run, let them be who they are. Because if you don't someday when they are my age they will be faced with an important decision and they won't know what to do. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, because if I was I would have just written this in my journal and tucked it away. I'm saying if you allow other voices to become your child's voice you make their voice invisible and it is replaced by whatever's being said to them and that can make them feel quite ugly.
Now I'm thankful that in the last few years I have met many wonderful people who like me just as screwed up as I am. They have made me come out of my shell and discover the beauty in myself and my work. I appreciate those friends who I was close to in my younger years, the family I have that is always there when I need to talk in my real voice. But now when I'm making huge decisions for my life, there is always a voice who says whatever decision you make it will not be the right one. The voice that says you are too fat, too ugly, too mediocre to matter, you are just plain not good enough. Hence the complete lack of confidence to do anything at the moment.
I think that is why I need another voice to replace it, one who loves me and tells me everything will be ok, just do what you love and discover your own voice. This post wasn't meant to be a pity party but a wake up call. Our children are our future, they are the future of the planet we live on, teach them to be kind to others and most especially kind to themselves. Just let them be.