Lessons from my daughter

Feel your feelings fully. Laugh uproariously. Cry until the last tear has been shed and turns into a smile, even if that means two minutes of whimpering and fake crying to get through to the next wave, or to make yourself laugh. There is so little permission in our society for the difficult feelings – the ones that no one enjoys but are the flip side of the happy coin. I watch people turn themselves inside out to get babies and children to stop crying, or yell at them to shut up, stop being a baby, you’re embarrassing me. Instead of holding space for those feelings, we teach our children that those aspects of self are unacceptable, unloveable and we reinforce that in our own minds and hearts. Why can’t you cry? Why can’t you get angry? Why can’t you be silly and laugh so hard your cheeks hurt? Who told you that? They lied.

Time is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if it’s 11am, 5pm or bedtime. Sleep when you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry, play as long and as hard as you can because all we have is now. This is difficult for those of us who are used to living life by the clock. And while many of us thrive on regularity, or a schedule, I believe loosening our grip on time is vital to our well-being. Try it one day a week – take off your watch, put down your devices, ignore the clock, and see what happens. Let your heart be your guide.

Be curious. Ask lots of questions. Look for answers. Explore the world. It doesn’t matter how long it takes – enjoy the process. Follow the tangents. Forget about “should” and “have to” and “can’t”. Ask for help when you need it and let people know when you want to do something on your own. Sing, dance, jump, run, draw, spin in circles because it feels good to move your body and create. It doesn’t matter how well you do it, what matters is that you feel joy in your whole being and pride in what it can do.  Because you – with all your adult hopes and dreams, frustrations and failures, quirks and faults – you are amazing. And when you were little, even if it was only for a short while, you knew it. Let me remind you now.

You were born a bright light in the world. It’s your responsibility to let it shine.

This entry was posted in Life After Benjamin. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Lessons from my daughter

  1. Brilliant, Alana. So much wisdom. I love it!

  2. Christa says:

    Thanks to you and Ada for the reminder – one we all need!

    XOXO

  3. Well, Sugar, that Ada is the best sticky note EVER. Hug her for me, will ya? xoxo

  4. Pamela says:

    Wowza. This is so beautiful and wise!! I am going to post this one up for sure. I love the part about holding space for feelings. I caught myself doing that to Oliver today, wanting him to not be mad at his brother. I stopped myself but sometimes I don’t. Thank you for this shining reminder and for the reminder to let ourselves off the hook as well.

  5. This is beautiful. I’m so looking forward to getting to know you much more!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *