Is it possible to teach our children that the world truly is their oyster? As a parent constantly searching to improve the outcome of my child’s life, I wonder if I truly affect the early years’ foundation, prior to the external environment’s influences. Is it only my perception that I carry such weight to mold a young mind? Is destiny already in place? I believe that the energy I move enables life to shift and with this intention, I influence destiny.
Lately when I have been helping my six- year-old daughter drift off to sleep, she has begun seeking guidance on what to believe about life. Recognizing the powerful impact I may have in this moment-by-moment interaction, I cringe at the weight of what to say and what not to say. I originated from from a black/white and right/wrong perspective; my aim is to offer a broader outlook to my offspring.
My child inquires, who am I? What am I? With such existential questions coming from an incredibly young inquisitive mind, I answer her with the honesty that moves within my heart. I say to her, “Let me explain it this way. What does it feel like when we skip down the sidewalk together?” She tells me that it feels good, it feels happy, and it makes her smile. I then say, you are that. You are the happiness, the good, and the love when your spirit sores with energy. You are what it feels like to skip, jump, run endlessly in any direction, and twirl happily in a circular motion, watching clouds roll by and the rainbows that touch our hearts when we see them shine. You are what makes life smile, I tell her. Yet as the words leave my lips, I cognitively recognize the confusion I may be causing from the metaphors that escape her understanding.
However, just as I am about to surrender to the basic rational, right-brained definition, she whispers, “Am I the way I feel?” I sigh with pride and think, she is wiser than I could have imagined. I answer softly, “You are that and everything you ever choose to imagine.” You are not better or worse for the clothes you wear, nor greater or less for how fast you run or for getting in line before another person; you are as worthy as the next person, not more important or less. What makes you different is how you feel about yourself on the inside. You were perfect from the moment you were born, and all that follows is what you make of yourself, what comes from your heart, comes from your spirit, and your energy. Remember that you are what rainbows are made of, where smiles originate, where blue skies get their essence.
From this conversation, I recognize that a six year old comprehending the abstractness may fail some absorption. My hope is that some of these moments where I preach pieces of spirituality, there will be a moment later in life, where she may turn to me and say, “Mom, I understand.” When it comes to self-esteem and self-assured confidence, I trust when approached by a diverse perspective or negative judgment from another individual, she will soon be able to assert that she knows who she is, and that his opinion of her is none of her business. My estimation is this will take time and be tested over the years.
These moments as she engages in conversation of how her life began, how fears became established, how to obliterate the doubts that life presents her, she begins to recognize the keen sense she has to empower her life with intention. May she have the energy to shift her life in the direction she so chooses. She senses the gems of guidance I offer her now, but is starting to disregard these natural instincts as exposure to the mundane begins to occupy her brain. Her gift of living life fully enables me to share a description of what she is experiencing. We act as two-way teachers. She offers me a gift in remembering my own essence, and I tender an avenue of maintaining her belief that all that she dreams is on its way to fruition. The fact is that the world is her oyster and her heart occupies the pearl.