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Sometimes you need a fresh perspective
I was at the end of my rope. Emotionally exhausted, my bucket was completely empty; I had nothing left to give. Worry about everything under the sun crowded my mind. Have you been there too? I knew that I needed to take some time for self-care, so I found a time where I could sneak away and I tried to journal before the school bus came back and my children returned.
I tried sitting in the hammock and journaling. As I put a hand out to the ground to still the hammock from rocking back and forth, it promptly tipped over and I fell in a heap on the ground. Great. Just like the rest of the day had felt. I tried my best to do something and ended up thrown in the dirt. I moved to a tree and it felt like the words came out in a gush, breaking the dam of emotions that I had been holding back all day and tears started in a slow cascade down my face.
As I journaled, I realized that there was nothing that was majorly wrong externally. There were no major looming disasters. I was having a pity party, with myself as the guest of honor. As I looked at what I had written, I realized that I was lashing out at my wonderfully patient husband. When I reflected on it and re-read it the next day, I tore it into little pieces and threw it in the trash. It was refreshing, actually, like I was letting go all those negative emotions and throwing them in the trash can. There is nothing beneficial that comes from holding on to emotions that come from self-pity.
Seeing a Kindergartener’s World Can be a Form of Self-Care
Sometimes you need different types of self-care. What I needed then was emotional self-care. That’s why I started writing. Sometimes, though, it depends on what you write, and sometimes you have to let yourself feel your emotions before you can let them go. That’s what happened when I was journaling under the tree. I felt so overwhelmed and empty. So, I cried for a bit, but then looked at my watch and realized that the kids were going to be home soon. I did not want them to see me like that. I’m sure that you can relate: You are empty and overwhelmed, but you are strong for your kids or the rest of your family?
I went to the sink and splashed my face with cold water and I pulled myself together, then went to the window and waited for the school bus to return. I could not wait to see the kids, to feel their little arms around me, and to see their sweet smiles. Kids, especially smaller kids, are the masters at mindful living. They live in the moment. Their hearts don’t worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, they simply trust that it will be taken care of. They enjoy things as they happen.
The Thing that Crashed My Pity Party and Lifted Me Up
I watched as my kids got off the bus. My tween son was “Mr. Cool.” He had his backpack slung on his back, and he walked to the house. As I watched him walk, I thought about how he was at that awkward stage. He is not quite teen, not quite adult and desperately wanting to be “cool” but not having the slightest idea how and trying to find himself.
My Kindergartener, though, hit the ground running. He got off the bus and RAN to the house, and the look on his face was pure joy. He was happy that he was home, he liked the feel of the wind on his face and his little legs pumping and the sensation of going fast. The look on his face said that he did not have a care in the world. It totally recharged me.
When you are having the worst day of your life, go look in your kid’s eyes. Tell them “I love you.” Watch the love and the joy light up their face.
If they are too busy for that, then sit down with them and start playing with them, and talking to them. That can give you a recharge too. Try to see the world from their perspective.
A Kindergartener’s World
The world that my kindergartener perceives is really nice! Everyone is a friend. In a kindergartener’s world, there is forgiveness for anything and everything. No grudges held, just forgiveness.
In a Kindergartener’s World, there is Complete Forgiveness
My son had an issue with another little boy in his kindergarten class, and for about a week they did not get along. Now they are good friends and sit close to one another in class without a problem. How much of a better world would it be if we did that as adults? Not only did they forgive each other, but the issues they had seem to be forgotten, or at least they do not matter anymore. When you truly forgive someone, it is like a scar. There is a mark of something that once hurt, but it does not hurt any longer.
In a Kindergartener’s World, there are Honest Feelings
Most kindergarteners and small children are very honest about their feelings. You can see them written all over their little faces. When he gets off the bus, I know immediately if he has had a bad day because it is written all over his little face. In a way, that is so refreshing! As an adult, most of us have emotional shields in place. We have to because we are bombarded with things all day. However, small children have not developed that yet. You can tell their feelings just by looking at them. It is so honest, sincere, and refreshing.
In a Kindergartener’s World, there are Surprise Hugs and Love
If you go into a kindergartener’s classroom, and you hug your child, odds are that before you leave you will feel another set of arms around your waist at some point before you leave. Surprise hug! Kindergarteners are so quick to show love. It is absolutely adorable, charming, and sweet. In a Kindergartener’s world, love and kindness abound. How much better of a world would it be if adults did the same?
Applying the Kindergarten World To Your Mom Life
Sometimes I over-react. Sometimes I yell when I shouldn’t. Being a mom is a constant learning experience with plenty of on the job training. When I do make a mistake or over-react, I try to view it as a learning experience. It is also an opportunity to model what you should do when you make a mistake. I go to my child, give them a hug and tell them “I love you. I’m sorry that I yelled. I over-reacted. Let’s talk this out. You chose to take this action. That action was a bad choice because. I felt mad. How did you feel?”
As adults, we forget that point of view. We forget how kids see the world. Maybe that’s why the Lord gives us children: to remind us to stop and see the world through our kid’s eyes. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and look at the world through the eyes of your child. A small child’s world is so sweet, loving and kind. Everyone is your friend. Feelings are honest and come from the heart. Forgiveness comes quickly, and love abounds. Love abounds not just to a few, but to everyone.
What are some of the best lessons you learned from your child?
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