By Patricia Omoroqui
I have found this German proverb to hold true in my life as a parent, â€œHe who teaches children learns more than they do.â€Â I consider my children to be my greatest teachers.
My kids are growing so fast.Â This week I spent time recalling some truly touching moments I’ve had with them.Â On several occasions my older daughter Maggie has blurted out spontaneously, â€œMommy, I love you so much!â€Â Each time these words were echoed by the sweet chirpy voice of my 4-year old daughter, Skye.
Receiving love from these dear small children produced immediate change in my state of being.Â Stress disappeared; worry melted away.Â A burst of energy and joy flowed through me as I smiled and shared my love in return.
Maggie and Skye reminded me of the importance of taking time to share heartfelt thoughts and words.
Words of acceptance, understanding and love are powerful.Â We could create more of these exquisite moments by simply pausing to notice beauty in others and reflect it, via our words or even smiles, back to them.Â Since we know how good it feels to be affirmed or appreciated, why don’t we offer this more?
Somehow it is all too easy to take for granted the people closest to us.Â We assume they know how we feel.Â Often days and weeks pass without telling them we care, offering them a compliment or thanking them for kindness.
Ironically it seems easier to express annoyances or grievances than to offer understanding.Â When we rush through our days distracted by our own thoughts and challenges we miss ever-present opportunities to enjoy and celebrate the people around us.
Our insecurities keep us from accepting ourselves.Â We fear that we are inadequate.Â Our self-judgments hinder us from offering ourselves understanding.Â Our fears keep us from self-love.
It is no wonder it becomes challenging to offer others acceptance, understanding and love when we fail to first offer these blessings fully to ourselves.Â As we fill our heart full of this energy, it overflows from our life through the thoughts, words and actions we offer the people around us.Â It starts from within and then impacts the World around us.
Children have such a kack for sharing acceptance, understanding and love with people they encounter.Â On the last day of summer camp two years ago, Maggie’s teacher pulled me to the side and shared a touching story.Â Maggie attended a school where all types of children were taught in wheelchairs, with feeding tubes, walkers and various physical challenges.Â One day each week the children would go outside in the summer heat and play in the water.
The teachers brought three children in wheelchairs out to play in the water with the children.Â Maggie was busy splashing in the water wen the kids arrived.Â But as soon as she noticed the kids, she went over to greet them.Â She then asked her teacher, â€œCan I play with them?â€Â Â The teacher was pleased that Maggie wanted to include these special children in her play.
Maggie asked, â€œWhat can I do to make them happy?â€Â Maggie knew that the kids in wheelchairs needed to play in the water in special ways so she asked for direction.Â The teacher suggested she bring some water in buckets over so that they could gently splash water on the children.
Maggie’s acceptance, understanding and love brought smiles and joy to the kids, the teacher and of course, to herself.Â The teacher mentioned to me at the end of the story that most children are very comfortable around kids with physical challenges.Â It is only when their parents teach them to be afraid of kids who are â€œdifferentâ€ that the children distance themselves.
Thankfully, my daughter has not yet learned this type of fear.Â She also is not caught up in insecurity or worry about what others think of her.Â She is able to effortlessly offer her beautiful gifts to the World around her.
I’m encouraged on a daily basis as I notice children sharing love with one another.Â We, as adults, can learn a tremendous amount by observing the innocence and trust our children exhibit.Â We can learn to recapture this enthusiasm for life, this acceptance for ourselves and this willingness to move out of our comfort zone to share our love with others.Â We can begin to more spontaneously express our love through smiles, hugs and kind words.
Your assignment this week is to notice how often you offer yourself the gifts of acceptance, understanding and love.Â If you rarely do, use this week to try it out.Â At least one time each day find one thing you accept about yourself.Â Extend understanding to yourself by listening to what you need.Â Offer your body good sleep, nourishing food.Â Fill your mind with uplifting words from books or music.
Attempt to look at yourself in the mirror with love.Â Notice how courageously you are walking life’s path.Â Admire yourself for the resilient spirit you have.
Then, after you have taken the time to give yourself what you need, begin to notice opportunities to share these gifts with others.Â Are you seeing the best in your friends and family?Â Are you offering more judgment or love?
I would love to stay connected with you throughout the week .Â Why not join me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube?Â I also have a free, daily inspirational email list that provides daily doses of encouragement, hope and teaching.Â Â To sign up, visit my website www.patriciaomoqui.com and put your email address in the red box called Food For Thought.Â Don’t forget to drop me an email to share insights and let me know of topics you’d like me to address in this column.
Have a blessed week ahead as you practice love, acceptance and understanding!
Food For Thought
â€œThere is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness and generosity.Â People who do not experience self-love have little or not capacity to love others.â€
Patricia G. Omoqui 2010,
All Rights Reserved
Patricia Omoqui, The Thought Dr. â„¢, is an internationally recognized inspirational speaker, life coach and writer.Â Patricia’s mission in life is to inspire people to move beyond fear so they can reach their full potential.