How is it that I absolutely and unquestionably love my child?
This may initially come across as harsh but go with me on this.
My son is 18 months old; he hasn’t given anything to me or done anything special for me, other than my interpretation of his actions and the love I’m projecting on him.
He hasn’t accomplished anything, hasn’t proven himself in any way, hasn’t made a dramatic impact on the world, hasn’t achieved anything, mastered anything or devoted himself to anything. So why do I love him so fiercely and unconditionally?
The answer is so simple, he is just who he is, without trying or doing or acting. That is all he needs to be for me to love him at the level I do.
Perhaps there is something to that, a lesson for us adults to learn. How can I be completely accepted and loved without action or accolade, but just truly being who I am? Is that even possible in this world? How can I live unhindered and free from the trappings of societal illusions that I’ve put on myself over time?
In my search for the answer and my journey towards discovering who I am and accepting what that is, I realised that I already am who I am. But it is clouded by worry. Will I be accepted, will I be good enough, will I be noticed, remembered, respected, will I be someone of importance?
My question was answered one afternoon while watching James play. A simple truth that dawned on me is that he is completely present in everything he does. When he plays, he plays, when he eats, he eats, when he laughs, he laughs freely and honestly.
The lessons I’ve learnt from that event opened my mind to a few learnings. Here they are:
1 – Be Present
Even when you’re throwing a tantrum. It is OK to feel whatever emotion you feel, acknowledge it and let it be. Only then can you decide if you want to change the way you feel. As adults, we have the luxury to control and shift our state.
2 – Make Time to Play
One of the beautiful things about having a toddler is that you get the opportunity to learn how to play again. To become so involved in something that the world just disappears. Here are some ideas to get you playing again:
- Colour in. Adult colouring in books can be found in most stores these days. It’s a really great way to unwind and relax.
- Blow bubbles.
- Climb a tree, if you still can
- Fly a kite
- Put on some music you love and just move your body.
- Lie outside and make pictures with clouds
3 – Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
Don’t get caught up in your assumptions of what others think of you, and don’t assume you know what others think of you. Rather, acknowledge the effect they have on you and manage whatever emotions surface.
How different the world be if we were loved and accepted because of who we are, and not for what we’ve done.