Tonight I was asked (amongst a group of adults) to list 5 things that I liked about myself.
Do you know how hard it was? I did eventually come up with 5 things I like about myself (see end of post), but I got to three and was stumped. How can it be this hard? Is it that difficult to find a handful of things I like about myself? Then we were asked as a group to identify personality traits of our kids that we liked. Do you know how easily and quickly traits were tossed out? That question was soon followed by listing some not so positive traits of our kids. That list was slower and didn’t generate as big a list (a good thing I think, haha).
Once we had identified the good and bad traits, it became clear that some of the things we had tossed out were in fact some of the traits we embody ourselves…and thus, reflected in our kids. This isn’t a new revelation, I know. But it was an excellent exercise to visually see how much easier it is to identify traits in others, and less so in ourselves. Seeing the traits listed on paper made it easier for us all to generate more things we liked about ourselves, or to identify with the ones listed. It also gave me a window into the things I needed to work on – which I was already cognizant about, but was a good reminder to keep it in check.
A few things the pastor* said today had impact:
- Many of us hide behind a facade and that’s why we don’t get better. I try to be open and I do try to talk about it when needed because I don’t want to be 1, 3, 10 years out still hiding behind the same facade and not really have grown, not just from the hurt and sadness, but also overall, living my life as authentically and wholeheartedly as I can.
- The childhood rhyme of ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me‘ – words have impact and long-lasting effects (again, it’s not that I didn’t know this, but just a good mental check and reminder to be present and cognizant) – many of us have had things said to us that have hurt us, and some of these words have more long-lasting effects than we realize.
- Comparison is the thief of joy – Pastor Mike didn’t actually say this, but he pretty much may have. Comparison of a behaviour/trait your child is exuding similar to the other parent, comparison against a sibling, etc. is still comparison. I have this as an on-going motto in my head for my photography to not compare, because all it does is stunt me. This is the same for anything in life.
T seemed to enjoy his first class – with which they ended with a birthday party for everyone, leaving donning party hats and enjoying a mini cupcake. He was a little sad that he didn’t get to take his new markers home (that’s my little crafter!) and that I didn’t stay the entire class with him (#momfail – I told him I would but then told him I couldn’t -sigh), but I think this will be good for him overall. More tools = more support.
So….the 5 things I liked about myself (top of my head, no huge soul-diving)?
- Funny (or at least a pretty decent sense of humour) – even if I mostly feel like a one-woman stand-up show
- I like to try new things
- Resilient – I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is a way
And…I couldn’t finish this post without a crazy selfie of my T-monster and I (of which we have plenty!) and a list of Tristan’s unique qualities that make him the little guy that I love so much:
- Creative – loves to craft and build, build and craft
- His awesome imagination
- Soft soul with a gentle heart
We are learning to work through some frustrations, or how to deal with frustrations as they crop up. In time, I have slowly come to realize that this child is so similar to myself and Joe in personality (but still his own little person), and the areas that crop up are the areas that I find hardest to navigate within myself and in dealing with Joe. So the perpetual cycle that we go through is due to running out of tools, not completely having the best tools myself to navigate my own frustrations, and thus, in turn, ‘teaching’ my son (unknowingly – they pay so much attention!) the same way to handle his frustrations. This is not an easy thing to admit and I’d much rather hide behind that of a pretty ok mom! (Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a pretty awesome mom to my boys…but I have my #momfails).
Anyways, more tools, more self-reflection, more mindfulness, and more staying in the present are things I am working on, and will likely be a lifelong dedication.
Now that I’ve left you my traits, do you see other traits that I embody? What top 5 traits do you like about yourself? What traits of yourself do you see in your kids?
I leave you with this beautiful song by Passenger – Home.
*Tristan and I are attending the Rainbows program run out of the North Pointe Community Church. There is a secular and religious stream, but the adult class is led by Pastor Mike.