Sunday, August 28, 2016

3rd Anniversary of a Royal Birth

In the previous post, On This Day an Angel Was Born..., I referred to the letter I wrote to my little angel for her third birthday. The letter is below...

Dear Daughter,

This past year has been filled with so much change. There has also been quite a bit of change from one day to the next my sweet little 3 year old.

You and the potty have become best friends as you've conquered the throne. Occasionally, when you go into the bathroom to handle your business, you climb onto the porcelain throne, and point to the threshold of the bathroom as you say "Go, mommy. Go." This most often occurs when the business that needs handling is solid rather than liquid. Regardless, apparently, even a 3 year old needs her bathroom privacy.

You can now count to fifteen and you are able to name all the letters of the alphabet upon sight. Your counting is adorable because fourteen comes after thirteen and before thirteen, and sometimes fifteen never comes at all. With the letter recognition, you confuse N and M, which is completely understandable, but you still do a very good job.

Now, on to your more interesting traits...

Rather than plain old wrestling, you and I alternate "biting" each other. "Biting" is in quotes, because I nibble on you playfully with my lips covering my teeth, so that my teeth don't come in contact with you at all. I also merely put your tiny arm or leg in my mouth. I don't actually apply force. When I do it, you laugh whole-heartedly, and it's sooooo awesome. It's like I'm tickling you! You, on the other hand, haven't caught on to the fact that I'm covering my teeth with my lips, and you literally bite me, then laugh. You don't do it with any force, so it's still very funny.

You've finally began to understand that tooting (as in flatulence) makes a pretty funny sound when it comes out, and it smells pretty darn terrible 90% of the time. These days, you giggle when you toot, and sometimes follow that initial toot up with several more, each accompanied by adorable little giggles. Once the fragrance of all that hits your nose, you say "That doesn't smell nice, mommy." To which I'd love to say "No shit, Sherlock" as a joke, lol, but I can't use that type of language with my princess.

Sweetheart, we share so many special moments. One example occurred a few nights ago. I was sitting on the floor gathering books for a bedtime story, and you walked over, placed your arm around my neck like we were old buddies, and said "Mommy, you're my best friend." I wanted to cry, because I felt so special in that moment.

You're a very sweet, kind, and compassionate toddler, and the empathy in which you operate astounds me at times. If you see me yawn or lying down, you ask me if I'm tired. If you see me laugh, you ask me what's "laughing" instead of what's "funny". You're always concerned with what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, and I love it.

This past year, I've gotten to see you really develop a personality that's full of love and kindness, but refuses to be a push-over. Even though you're a petite toddler, your attitude doesn't reflect it. You walk and talk like you're 6 feet tall, and it's adorable.

I appreciate your capacity to demand what you want, although we're still working on you understanding that you can't always have things your way.

I love you dearly, and look forward to you continuing to develop emotionally, socially, academically, and behaviorally. Being your mother has been a richly rewarding experience thus far, and I look forward to continuing to cultivate and guide you to becoming the woman you're intended to become.

Love Always,

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Learning to Put Me First


I've been thinking a lot lately about love.

I've especially been thinking of how important it is for me to love myself unconditionally.

One important part of my recent journey is learning how to love me and accept me.

I huge part of that is accepting how awesome I am.

I've been in conversations with a friend about how we've been trained to very easily believe the negative things - including what society says, what our critics say, what the media says, what our cultures say. We were trained to accept and believe it all as our own truths.

However, I've decided to define my own truth. This is a concept I learned from Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements.

He presents some really profound concepts about our reality. I won't get into those four agreements now (they're on youtube), but I will discuss his concepts as they apply to my current line of thought.

Don Ruiz talks about how we can choose to define our own truths.

Example: The sky is blue. We all accept that the sky is blue on most clear, sunny days. However, what is blue? Blue is defined by unanimous agreement to be composed of certain hues and saturations of color as they are perceived by each individual. We all have pretty much agreed on what defines "blue", as this was one of the very first things we learned in school. I don't have a reason to debate what shades and reflections of light define the color blue, so I don't. I accept what's commonly considered blue, as blue.

Now, if we apply this principle to something more important, this principle gets more interesting and more important.

Society tells me that I'm a certain gender, a certain color, a certain social status. Society, therefore implies certain things about me based on those observable features. However, there are several important factors to consider regarding this phenomena. (1) Society is made up of individuals who all have their own perspectives. These perspectives were shaped by their experiences, especially experiences that occurred during one's upbringing. Therefore, these pre-formed, ingrained perspectives are completely independent of me. (2) Society knows nothing about what makes me, me. Society only knows what it assumes about me based on superficial features, which there aren't very many. (3) I shouldn't invest energy, time, or even thought into modifying myself base on what I assume individuals, groups, or societies think of me. That's ludicrous.

Based on all this, I get the great honor of deciding who I am, and how I interact with the people and things in this world.

I love me and I love people, but generally, people don't give a shit about me. They don't give a shit about you either. Accepting that concept, and embracing that concept has been so liberating for me.

In loving me, I've accepted the fact that I'm only my own highest priority, no one else's. I'm no one else's highest priority. You're no one else's highest priority. Not your spouse's. Not your significant other's. Not your child's. Not your parents'. Each person is his/her highest priority.

Although I've decided to put myself, my needs, my wants first, I don't neglect others and I don't mistreat others.

One of my affirmations and a major principle by which I live is that I walk in LOVE, TRUTH, and KINDNESS by the GRACE and FAVOR of GOD.

It's all true, and I'll more about this in time. I'll also go back through some of my previous posts to figure out what other topics I aimed to discuss more in detail.

So yes, I'll write more about this as the urge arises. I don't like to place myself on a schedule for writing, because I like to follow where and when my heart leads.

As an aside, it seems as though each time I start to write with a specific thought in mind, I veer off to something else. Despite this, I'm always pleased with the final product. I always just let my thoughts and my words flow, and they always seem to lead me the destination at which I'm meant to arrive.

His Awesome Splendor

His Awesome Splendor
Upon seeing this view, I knew I had to capture it.

My Fave...

My Fave...