Those of us who spend time with young children realize that little ones can be extremely and beautifully wise. I’ll never forget the day , when my three-year old daughter explained to her dad what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I want to be a people!” She happily declared.
We have chuckled good-naturedly about that comment made by an innocent child ever since. Lately, however, when I pause to reflect on the her comment, I perceive that my little girl was being downright insightful.
In her eyes, nothing about her needed fixing. Nothing needed to be changed or improved upon. She felt that she was perfectly complete just being people, just being herself. No strings attached. How wonderful is that?
I never knew who I was until I began to love myself in this present moment.
Unfortunately, once we reach the age of awareness, living in our society can cause a person to question his or her self worth. So often we measure ourselves by the expectations we allow to be thrust upon us, either by ourselves or by others. We can’t turn on a television or open a magazine without being bombarded by distorted messages about how imperfect mainstream society believes we are.
Do any of these examples sound familiar?
“Are you ready for summer’s bikini body? Lose twenty pounds in one month with our new dietary supplement!“
“Do you have enough money? What will you do when the money runs out? Have you saved enough for retirement?“
“New plastic surgery center opening soon. Walk-in and Find out how you can look 15 years younger fast! “
Examining Your Sense of Worth
What happens to our sense of worth, when our identity gets too wrapped up in our physical appearance, or what sort of car we drive, or what neighborhood we live in, instead of the simple fact that we have intrinsic value as a human being?
When we measure our worth according to society’s standards, our self-image can become quite distorted.
In a recent group counseling session, where a small group of women were sharing their most crucial goals – one woman expressed that her one and only goal was to reach her ideal weight. It was obvious by the pained expression on her face that she was quite embarrassed about her weight, perhaps to the point of self loathing. Interestingly enough, before she shared her goal, the thing that I noticed about her was that she was a beautiful lady. Her hair, her makeup, her charming manner of speaking, created a truly lovely persona. If she hadn’t mentioned weight as a concern, I don’t even think I would have guessed that she had an issue with her weight.
Reading Louise Hay often reminds me that I am worthy simply because I am a part of The Universe. Louise is one of my favorite spiritual authors.
In the book You Can Heal Your Life, she explains,
“I always tell clients that no matter what their problem seems to be, there is only one thing I ever work on with anyone, and that one thing is loving the self. Love is the miracle cure. Loving ourselves can work miracles in our lives. I am not talking about vanity arrogance or being stuck up, for those qualities are based on fear. I am talking about having a great respect for ourselves and gratitude for the miracle of our bodies and our minds.“
Allowing for and Letting go of expectations, judgment and labels, we can begin to embrace the person we truly are.
Two self-acceptance exercises Louise Hay recommends
1. Become aware of your self talk.
Then, begin to talk to yourself as you would talk to a good friend. Say, for example, that you’d planned to work on a project on Sunday afternoon. As it turned out, you were exhausted from a tough week at work and ended up taking a nap instead. What did you say to yourself? Probably something like, “Oh you’re so lazy! You got nothing accomplished! You never finish a project on time!”
But what would you say to a friend in the same predicament? “You needed the rest! You had a tough week. Give yourself a break!” Now try giving yourself a break and being kind to you.
2. Try affirmations.
Affirmations are statements we repeat over and over to affirm a certain message. Positive affirmations can counteract negative messages, even negative messages we’ve been bombarding ourselves with for many years. Keep your affirmations positive and in the present tense.
Here are two examples:
- “I am loving myself as I am.”
- “I am creating a loving environment for myself.”
It may take some time to counteract the effects of negative self-talk. As always, remember to be kind and patient with yourself.
Being “A People” – The Best Thing to Be
Haaniya, my little people is now almost 4 years old and is in school doing so well. As she grows, she will go through some of the self-esteem issues and peer pressures that affect us all from time to time, yet for the most part, she will remain amazingly satisfied just to be herself, cause I will be there telling her how perfect she is all the way. No matter what happens in the future, she will always feel loved, thereby learning to love herself. Whatever outer form her future life might take, I believe she will remain authentically Haaniya (my little insightful angel) through it all.
She is so at ease with herself. We should all be so fortunate. And maybe with a little awareness and understanding, we can be too.
It seems that my child summed it up perfectly at the tender age of three. Loving ourselves in this present moment, just being content with ourselves, with being a people, truly is the most Beautiful Innocent wisdom of all.