I had the most beautiful walk with my oldest daughter this morning. I sit here tonight thinking about the gift of time I got with her, and how incredible it was to connect. She is 9 now, and it is a tough age. She isn’t little anymore, and she isn’t grown up. I guess she is a ‘tween. She is quiet and introspective, just like me. It scares me because I know what goes through my mind and how destructive some of those thoughts can be. I want to be able to climb in and take a look inside her mind. I want to grab all of those thoughts and toss them out. It is challenging to get her to talk because the answer to almost all questions is “good” even when it isn’t. We have a running pool now that if either of us responds to the question “how are you?” with “good,” then we owe the jar a nickel. So far, we are up to 20 cents, and we just started.
As I approach my 45th birthday, I realize that instead of being my biggest cheerleader, I have been my worst critic. I defeat myself before I even get started, I belittle myself to the point that I want to disappear, and I destroy any sense of self-worth. While I present as kind, caring, helpful, positive, and all of those other qualities you want in a friend, my internal monologue is the exact opposite. This is why I desperately want to unveil the thoughts that swirl around in the mind of my oldest. I want to stop her destructive, limiting, and untrue beliefs and replace them. I want her to tell herself that anything is possible with a clear intention, hard work, and dedication. She may fall down, may get hurt, may question herself, but the truth is she is unstoppable.
“I am incredible. I am talented, athletic, intelligent, beautiful, a problem solver, kind, caring, strong, and I am just getting started!!!!!”
Little by little, I work to infuse these thoughts and ideas into her, but I know it can only go so far. If she doesn’t believe these words to be accurate, if she doesn’t feel it inside herself, then my words won’t stick.
Tonight I sit here, and I cry for the ‘tween who lives with a mind of doubt and self-criticism, and I cry for the girl who for 40 years has done the same. I know in my heart that as I work to change my thoughts, and I begin to live a limitless life, I will show my daughter the possibilities. As I break out of the self-imposed armor and change my patterns, she will see me and will start to know it for herself.
Message to my daughters: You are worthy of all you are and all you will become. You are loved and are perfect just as you are. Go into this world and kick some ass because the world needs you...you!