I do not possess one of those clap-trap minds; my memory, it’s a little touch and go. But I do remember this — it was not much fun being a pre-teen girl. The feelings of awkwardness, confusion and fear are still fresh in my mind.
Knowing everything there was to know (ha!) about mothering before I had my children – I was certain I was going to be the kind of mother that somehow spared any daughters that pain.
My daughters would be brimming with self-esteem; know they were beautiful and perfect; have no need of makeup, complex hairstyles, name-brand clothing. They would feel utterly comfortable in their own skin, and never feel the need to measure themselves against their peers and the culture.
My plan – to the extent I had one — has apparently not worked. And if you’ve figured it out, let me know how it’s done. Because no matter how sensitive I try to be; how understanding; trying to anticipate problems – it’s coming down hard at my house anyway.
And as my daughter is crying, and saying how she looks ugly in everything she owns – no jeans are right, no shirt looks good, nothingnothingnothingnothing looks good on me!!!! – I try to formulate the right words; the proper response.
What can I do? Or say? How can I convince her that she looks just fine; not just fine, but actually, spectacularly beautiful?
How can I show her the view through my own eyes; is there a way, a method, a technique to show her — help her to see — how beautiful she is?
So I think that maybe this is how God feels; when we’re critical of ourselves, when we’re hating on ourselves. Viewing ourselves in the mirror with a critical eye; peering back upon our life and seeing only mistakes and misgivings.
The Mother/Father God, she looks at us and ponders all the gifts we’ve been given; the choices we’ve made; pours on more unconditional love.
And the Mother/Father God thinks “How – how can I make them see how beautiful they are? How perfect, whole and complete? How can I show them their power, the majesty, the amazement of their very existence?”
I am thinking that maybe—just maybe – it will help my daughter to see how beautiful she is, when I am able to see how beautiful I am.
For us both to learn that self-esteem, self-confidence — they are not something you are granted; they are something that you earn for yourself. Only you can create them; only you can take them away.
In the meantime, Mommy is working on her detachment and compassion. Ear plugs might help.