Why Self Worth?
By living in the moment, by living our most truest and autonomous selves, we lead our children by example. We give permission to find their strength when we give ourselves permission that we’re good enough just the way we are.
Some adults who’re parents now have grown up with adverse childhood experiences, like physical abuse and emotional neglect. They might have been victims of divorces, separation and parents struggling with mental illness or addictions. Such terrible events can sometimes make parents incapable of putting their past behind and do their best for the children in their care.
But, how is it fair for our children to be a product of our personal calamities? They didn’t bargain for that, right? Here’s how to indulge in self care and compassion, so we raise ourselves and our children to be the best versions of ourselves.
Clean the clutter:
Take stock of things and people in your life. Are there people in your life who’re threatening your self worth in a toxic way? Time to start an “Ignore list” and put their names on it. Don’t bring in too many things and thoughts into your life, bring a big shears to cut shit out. Your child is always following your emotion trail.
Know yourself truly:
Become self aware to find yourself. Of course, sometimes you can become so self aware that you become your biggest critic, because you’re also aware of your weaknesses along with your strengths. The point is don’t tweak yourself to suit the expectation of the crowd you’re around. Authentic is a rare breed. Join it. Your child will salute you for that.
Set yourself free:
Kindness energizes us when we are in its company. Compassion reduces stress. Self compassion gives us a sense of freedom. Educate your heart by feeding it positive emotions. The amount of kindness is far greater than the amount of violence the world faces. It just doesn’t make it into the news always. Give yourself permission first so you can be available for your children. Set yourself free from unrealistic expectations from yourself, family and society.
Find your roots of optimism:
If there’s anything unifying about humanity’s existence, its our solitary pursuit of happiness. Its the way in which we choose to define our successes and identify our failures. Its how we contemplate on how well we’ve spent our lives. Its our unbridled hope for our future – that things will be better than how they’ve been so far. Its us telling ourselves that we will survive today. If there’s anything we owe it to our children its helping them to develop a positivity mindset.
Kindness is cool:
Whether or not anyone has spotted the Big Foot yet, we’ve all at some point experienced an unexpected kind word. A few lucky ones have even had the chance to see people with extreme challenges live productive lives without complaining or feeling self pity for themselves. And a few of the most luckiest ones among us have even experienced the radical and life changing love and nurture of caring, responsive and attentive parents. We propagate our future generations through this phenomenon.
Silence the worry mindset:
We all carry with us misgivings about a project we have in mind. Most of us are also constantly judging ourselves about the way we look.
But, we often forget that these are aspects of our lives that we don’t have any control over. We don’t have control over how things will work out in the end except for trying to make the best decisions along the way.
Focus on accomplishments:
Instead of channeling our energies on all that’s wrong with ourselves and the world, we can focus on all the things that seem to be working well. We can focus on our skills and accomplishments to tell ourselves great stories. We can change our own narrative about ourselves. We are holding the key to our own happiness.
For victims of abuse, neglect and disabilities, this stuff might seem like fluff. But hang on for one more argument. Think of yourself in the present moment. You’re alive and well. Let that courage dawn on you.
For those of you living in extremely difficult situations, trying to run small businesses, being single parents and doing the best you can for your children and those who constantly keep judging themselves that they’re not good enough, read along.
Are you living in an abstract world of self loathing? I challenge you to put your fear and disgust of yourself on paper. Is there anything solid that’s wrong with you? Can you pin point the thing that’s making it impossible to give yourself a little bit of credit for making it? Are these something you can’t and are not working on each and every day to improve? Then, what’s the issue? How do you expect to fill others if your cup is not full.
Sprinkle a little purposelessness:
Does it mean each and every minute of your life has to be purpose driven? Do you’ve to always engage yourself in enrichment activities? Absolutely not. If there’s no time for day dreaming, connecting dots to important lessons when you’ve been focused in impossible.
Live life by taking cues from nature. Trees wouldn’t flower if they have asked themselves what’s the purpose of this. Waves wash to the shore, birds chirp and volcanoes erupt. There’s no purpose to all this. But without them, we won’t be here thinking about our purpose in life.
Finding the power of connection:
Imagine if we were building a career with a single minded goal. We might feel productive at the end of the day but our uni-dimensional life will not be fun at all. Without incorporating leisure and creativity and pursuing what we enjoy, and creating a well rounded life, we will not be truly happy.
That’s where we can leverage the power of connection. By connecting with others, we can share our gifts and positively change their lives. We can share our predicaments and our sorrows and feel better. Connection to our fellow living beings, humans and animals, brings meaning and purpose into our lives. It impacts us and enables us to contribute to higher goals. We become capable of spreading hope, love and happiness all around. Imagine, if each and everyone of us including our children was doing that, what it would do to our world’s collective happiness index?
Embrace self compassion:
We all crave a sense of order, balance and calm in a world of information overload. And in this daily pursuit, we find ourselves even more lost. By adopting a compassionate approach to ourselves, we can stop chasing the perfect version of life that doesn’t really exist. We can stop the overwhelm and anxiety that are byproducts of our daily grind.
Be that child:
Have you noticed how kids are? For the most part, they’re not seeking meaning out of life, they’re just seeking acceptance. They want their existence to be validated because they fear being invisible to others, especially their loved ones. Fear not of disappointment or failure but the lack of positive impact you’re capable of making through your warmth and strengths.
Turn on the light:
Double down on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses. Turn on the lights for yourself as you walk the unknown path ahead of you. Strangle that persistent voice in your head that says you’re lost. No one person is good at a 100 different things unless you’re one of those comic super heroes on TV. Get to a place of unconditional positive regard for yourself and your abilities. Life is a trail in error. Be happy and content with yourself on how much you’re trying to make it happen.
Invite fear openly:
Find your way through everything. When you’ve doubts and anxieties, work with them, so you can find out what’s holding you back. Fear is a great propeller. Allow yourself to be chased by it. OK, now don’t run off a cliff and tell me your risk was worth taking. Take cues from your teenager who seems to act like they don’t have much regard for the outcome.
Lower your standards:
Your ideal life is quite different than what’s possible with so many unpredictable parameters in your real life. So, you didn’t read a book and tuck the kids into bed tonight or were not able to pack lunch that morning. Cut your losses and move on. Make tomorrow a better day! Try this. Lower your expectations every time you’re going somewhere or doing something for the first time. You’re guaranteed to have a golden time.
Find yourself in nature. The five elements, earth, fire, water, air and space, don’t seem to tell each other that in their own power, they stand alone, and are not really dependent on one another. They simply exist with unconditional trust, freedom and generosity in this shared space. They teach us to reserve our judgments, perceptions, and just be accepting and content. They remind us to we’re blessed to someday disintegrate and become one with them.
Meditate, meditate, OMG meditate:
Looking inward and knowing yourself is spirituality. Find inner peace to safe yourself from the throes of life. Meditation helps catch yourself when you’re in your default thinking mode and quiets down your thoughts. That’s why its called meditation practice not meditation perfection.
How does it feel? Extending your own arms to pat yourself on the back for living through one more day of working yourself to extinction? Great, doesn’t it? Practice being in the now.
Contemplate the finiteness of life:
To gain some perspective, try contemplating its finiteness and the eventual mortality that will arrive. And a little Optimism bias hasn’t hurt anyone. What’s that? The idea that bad things cannot happen to us. Its trusting that everyone around you at any given point is doing their best.
A very big trigger of grief is comparison. Comparisons lead to expectation gaps. Why should anyone do anything for you? Its time to realize our inherent power of autonomy. We’ve all started this life’s journey empty handed. We were all meant to be self reliant to meet own personal needs.
Make gains by growing:
By living true to your nature, you can teach them to love and laugh a little. By surrounding yourself with things that you enjoy, you can help them do things they love instead of the things they dread.
Teaching our children about our lives by making them aware of how we’re learning and growing each day as well. They need to know that in our lives too, there are factors that are out of our control.
From the father, a child learns the attitude of perseverance and hard work. From the mother, a child learns to believe in the institution of love and nurture. But most family units now don’t follow traditional definitions of the by gone times. Many families are disjointed. But, having a simple definition of the modern family can help. “A family is all the people who live collectively in a household.”
Build an ecosystem:
Make your home a sanctuary. Homes that are neglected and parents who’re stressed perpetually cause children to feel unsafe, undervalued and under protected. So, its important to create a ecosystem that promotes sustaining emotions like love and nurture. Learn more on how to create an ideal environment for children to thrive.
Start a journal:
Writing a journal helps in experiencing a strong sense of well-being every day. Its gives us hope that life can still be phenomenal after devastating events. It shows us the fleeting nature of many life changing moments. It helps us make sense of life, “to connect all the dots going backward” as Steve Jobs said.
Through journals, we can look back at the banality of it all to see that real life is funny. You’ll realize once again that experience doesn’t guarantee that we will become less vulnerable and most days can be painful lessons in coming of age. Your words will hold the ultimate truth. Its a powerful lesson to teach our children.
Find purpose in helping others:
There must be something you are good at? There must be something you can give. Find that something that can make a difference. In the short time we’re here, the idea is to leave this world a better place than how we found it.
Put yourselves in places where your children see you interact with community members. Show case your own contributions to your family members and strangers. Kids mimic parents behavior to a very large extent and modeling our own behavior to what we expect out of them is the best way to teach them.
If you were not propelling yourself with a sense of purpose and using self guided momentum to make a positive difference in the world, how else would you expect your children to become the best version of themselves?