For as long as I could remember, I’ve always wanted to be a mom. So it was very disheartening when motherhood was not only a huge struggle, but I also didn’t enjoy it. I guess you could blame it on depression/anxiety or even chalk it up to the stresses of being a new mommy (yay crazy hormones). The whole experience got to be such a burden that I FINALLY sought the much needed help of a therapist (best decision ever) who has taught me so much. One of the biggest things that has helped me is learning how to restructure my beliefs. It has given me the opportunity to redefine how I think of myself and the world, impacting my behaviors toward myself and others. My therapist invited me to watch my daughter and see, how she lives her life? She encouraged me to watch her play and experience the world to see what I could learn. I’ve taken her advice and have been studying my little one.
Here are 5 life lessons I’ve learned from my two-year-old.
1. To not care about “labels”
My daughter is unknowingly so comfortable in her own skin. Brand names, the kind of car our family drives or how much money we have doesn’t make her feel better or worst about herself. Her only influence in life is need. Whether or not we are living within our means, things are just that, things. Having nice stuff is fine, but have them for you, because you want them, not to show off to others.
2. To not compare myself to others
With the influences from TV, internet, social media and actual human interaction its VERY hard to not compare myself to others. The stuff, talents and situation(s) of others are always getting filed away in my brain or being pinned on a virtual board “for my future.”
My two-year-old just knows that she is worthy and deserving of love. And not because she’s trying to be better than or compare to someone else, its because she doesn’t compare herself at all.
- To accept others as they are
The way I think of myself (I’m working really hard on this) and treat others is a reflection of how I deep down think of myself. Because she doesn’t compare herself to others its very easy for her to fully accept who she is. My daughter will talk to or play with anyone, 100% full acceptance without judgement.
Note: Please don’t confuse this with being a doormat, love others but also set boundaries. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. I want to be accepting and try to understand where others are coming from. That being said, I can’t allow others to bring me down.
4. To live fearlessly
I’m not sure if most kids are this fearless, but my daughter is always willing to take on big obstacles at the park and during play in general. She would jump onto or off of anything with enthusiasm. Even when she falls, its not uncommon for her to make repeat attempts until she gets it. Her determination is her motivation. Most of the things I want to attempt wouldn’t physically hurt me, but the fear of failure or rejection seems stifling. I want to reconnect with my inner child, the one that isn’t afraid to try new things or simply try again when things don’t work out the first time.
5. To love unconditionally
Have you ever fought with your significant other and because of stubbornness (or pride) it lasted multiple days, or even weeks? No matter how upset I am at my sweet two-year-old or vice versa, she is so quick to forgive and love. And its not just that, she forgets. Done. Finito. She never hangs it over my head in other arguments or discussions. Because her love is so true and so pure, she loves me unconditionally and moves on.
Restructuring beliefs is all about finding evidence that supports my strengths as a good person and realizing that I (and all of us) have the potential to be worthy, deserving and loved.
I’m finally starting to understand what the bible meant when we are instructed to “become as a little child.” (Matthew 18:3-4)