Lately, I’m doing a good deal of thinking about how to make the most out of one’s morning as I’m developing a personal development system for myself and to offer others.
So, I was curious this morning how she would wake up.
What does a nine year-old child who loves life do?
When I heard her rustling in bed, I headed over and snuggled up next to her. Being a sappy Daddy, I just stared at her a while. Any parent knows that watching your child sleep is sacred.
Suddenly, she popped up, zoomed off to the bathroom and then returned to her bed and back into the warmth of her blanket and my snuggles. She gave me a kiss and then curled up.
No hurry to get up, I guess.
Eventually, she stretched her arms out and said, “I love myself.”
I chuckled, both a little surprised and delighted. Of course, she’s said this many times before, but it’s usually before falling asleep or in the context of some discussion about worth and self-respect.
After her sweet declaration, she rolled over, smiled, gave me another kiss on the cheek and then returned to her ball of warmth.
It made me wonder where her statement came from…
Is it because all of her life she has gotten messages that she is valuable?
- “You’re valuable, so I spend quality time with you every day and figure out how to tend to my own passions and responsibilities along with that.”
- “You’re valuable, so I make sure you get healthy food, drink water, exercise and get the sleep you need.”
- “You’re valuable, so I talk with you about the values and life skills you will need to live a quality life.”
- “You’re valuable, so I take you to a quality school.”
- “You’re valuable, so I’ve taught you about feeding your mind with quality thoughts and healthy media choices.”
- “You’re valuable, so I talk with you about what is not acceptable for others to say or do to you and how to take a stand for your well being.”
- “You’re valuable, so I wake you up in a conscious way and help you get to sleep at night in a conscious way, with plenty of snuggles.”
- “You’re valuable, so I don’t use time outs or spank you, and I apologize if I’ve gotten upset and raised my voice.”
- “You’re valuable, so I make sure that you have positive friends and families in your life and plenty of playdates.”
- “You’re valuable, so I take time to help you figure out your interests at this point in your life and how best to go about developing them.”
These messages have been conveyed thousands upon thousands of times through the years directly and indirectly.
And yet, I wonder if her saying “I love myself” is just innate. After all, to my knowledge, there has never been a baby mired in self-loathing and depression. It’s the opposite. They radiate well being on every level, assuming they are healthy.
So, is her self-love at nine years of age nurtured or just a child’s nature?
Reminds me a wise friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. He used to say, “If ever you’re wondering if it’s one or the other because there are strong arguments for both… it’s probably both.”
Makes sense to me.