So recently my daughter had a friend over for a visit; right after school, they did homework together. At some point in the afternoon they wandered into the living room; I was working myself through a basic hatha yoga routine. Nothing crazy, but not simple. I personally need a sweaty yogic kick-in-the-pants to focus.
“Ohhhh, wow, Ms. Loftis! You’re really great at yoga!” My daughter’s friend kept watching. It used to bother me to be watched during practice; but, I have three children — at this point, it feels like part of the practice to just let that whole thing go and keep flowing.
She kept on with the comments and compliments. I deflected, put it all aside. – “Oh, honey, not really; I’m just practicing.” She compliments and comments again; I make small talk and diminish; just working through my routine, my junk; she only sees the outer stuff, but I see all the sticky, inner mess. I know this is not an advanced practice. I might be doing a headstand, but internally — it’s yogic kindergarten.
“Ohhh” – she comments to my daughter – “your Mom is just like you – she doesn’t think she is good at anything.”
I snap to attention.
My brilliant, beautiful daughters – I have two of them, and when I say they are brilliant and beautiful it is truth — I do not brag. I have taught them. And this is the result?
Apparently — not with words, but with action – I have taught them not to own their amazingness; to dodge compliments; to avoid praise. I have taught them the complete opposite of my words. I can tell them all day, all week, all year, that they are smart, resourceful, amazing women. But when they listen to me avoid praise, diffuse compliments; to not come into my own being. That is what they remember, they recall; it is what they live.
A few months later a dear friend’s daughter posts this to Facebook right at Valentines’ Day:
“Reminiscing on past relationships, I realized my best one ever was with myself. I took myself on the best dates, always knew just what to buy me, never forgot to tell myself I looked nice, rarely fought with me, didn’t have to wait around for me to call, spending time with me was always a blast, and when I was being a bitch to me i didn’t even get angry. Maybe I’ll take me out for valentine’s day. I love me.”
My first reaction is confusion – who likes themselves this much? Who has this beautiful, kind, generous relationship with anyone except those OUTSIDE of themselves?
Then I realized; this child’s mother – she taught her well. Or maybe; just maybe; she arrived with the knowledge.
Either way, it shines and light for me and for my girls – ooohhhhh goodness; Goddess Bless; this Mamma has sooooo much work to do.