1. My mother had a friend that she used to hang out with who’s youngest son would dress up in his older sisters clothing and play with her Barbies. When my mother tried to defend his eccentricities by saying, “leave that boy alone, playing with dolls will make him a better father!” His response? “Mmmm-mmm, no it wont, ’cause I’m not gonna be a daddy, I’m gonna be a mommy!” He was about five. We all labeled him as gay.
As good parents, I feel that you have to allow children to make mistakes, in order for them to learn. Example:
‘Baby’ is learning to walk. ‘Baby’ takes two steps and falls, PLOP! Mommy/Daddy says, “Awwww, that’s ok. Get up.” ‘Baby’ looks up at the “big, goofy” people with smiles of admiration. “Wow,” Baby thinks, “All this and all I did was try?”, so ‘Baby gets up and tries again. ‘Big‘ and ‘Goofy’ stand about three feet away, close, with arms outstretched for ‘Baby’ to fall into them and their embrace, if needed (and the truth is, they expect it. They know, in all of their big-goofiness, that there is a process of succeeding, and it’s rare to reach it without falling). The parents even celebrate the smallest of efforts, even when Baby doesn’t do anything but rock back and forth, trying to get their little legs to do what their young minds are envisioning, “YAYYYY!!!!”, they yell, clapping, even if ‘Baby’ takes only two steps. ‘Baby’ looks up in awe of how loving ‘Big’ and ‘Goofy’ are, and soon ‘Baby’ is clapping and “yayyy-ing”, too!
With all this encouragement, and a process of practice, many tries and many failures–Baby can now walk!
As adults, we are sent out to live on our own, to live our own life, most of us with a set of instructions: “pay bills, work, eat, sleep, pray, don’t drive drunk, protect yourself, cook, clean, etc.” We leave our youth behind, as well as the desires of our youth. With no parents some of us go wild, others don’t, but for most of us we forget that there are steps that we have to take to fully embrace and walk through our lives. And while we aren’t children anymore, we are all Someone’s child (children of The Creator) and the need for nurturing never goes away, it just shows up in different ways (discouragement, low-self esteem, tears, loneliness). It will always give us confidence and courage to walk a little more steady the next-go-round. And it becomes our responsibility.
Like loving an coddling parents, we have to embrace our short-comings, open ourselves up allow ourselves a warm place to hide if we should ever fall and bruise ourselves. Tell ourselves, “it’s ok, sweetie! you’ll do better next time.” We have to give ourselves credit for trying, and give ourselves the option of being tired and allow us some time to rest, pray for guidance, observe and meditate and breathe before we go at our goals again. Just because we didn’t get the walk right the first, second or fifteenth time, doesn’t mean our try was a failure; “There is a blessing in every lesson” (‘The Truth’, India.Arie);We have to forgive ourselves for being human, just as our Creators does daily.
And might I suggest that this stroking and understanding go on outside of yourself? Nope, not in your head. Be “big and goofy!” Talk to yourself in a calming, reassuring tone, just as you would a child. Stand in the mirror, and look at you as you would look at someone else that you care about–Talk aloud the next time find yourself beating yourself up about how you could’ve done things differently. Tell yourself how much you love yourself, talk to yourself about all the good things that you’ve achieved, and all the good things that you are made up of. Caress yourself! Go ahead, do it–doesn’t that feel good? Give yourself credit for the small stuff–the baby steps. Even if you don’t believe it at first, entirely, convince yourself! Do you see how confident you become, when you don’t focus on what you perceive as your failure (in life and love)?
Just as if you were a baby, learning the steps, say to yourself, “”Awwww, that’s ok. Get up.” Try again when you’re ready. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t get discouraged!
Baby yourself! Self-Nurturing is one of the key elements of loving you.
And when you finally get it right. Celebrate with yourself, with yourself! Love yourself up! You deserve it!