When my son was little, if I saw he was doing something that would hurt himself intentionally, I’d say, “Don’t hurt my friend”. I say this to my daughter as well. The idea is that I care about them as much as I would a friend seems to be not as obligatory but a choice to care about them. I love each as a buddy and friend and as children.
The more I learn about self-care and self-trust, the more I know I need to teach my daughter how to self-soothe and be there for herself instead of looking for the comfort and acceptance outside herself through drugs, food, or sex perhaps. Seems such a simple concept yet no one ever pointed out my duty to take care of myself in this way.
And then the other day, I was explaining the bracelet on my wrist was my friendship bracelet to myself. That before I could be a good friend to anyone else, I needed to be my own friend first. And Fiona thought about this and agreed and said, “We can have our own Body Buddy.” I gasped at the simple brilliance of this concept and asked if I could use the phrase. She agreed to let me.
Imagine if we were all allowed and encouraged to be our own friends from when we were small. That this friendship would allow more self-compassion and thus less self-hatred. What if we didn’t hate our bodies and accepted our differences as beautiful? That we could then have more love and compassion for our fellow humans and less judgement because we knew ourselves well enough. Imagine the rooting of self-trust that would allow us to take bigger and better risks because we knew we always had our own backs in the end even if we failed.
The opposites of anxiety and depression is love and trust and connection. It makes complete sense that in giving our next generation solid sense of self and tolerance for our humanity, we are raising people who can make better decisions on behalf of humanity. If this is my only contribution, let it be the best I can give. Let my children know themselves and have faith in their own body buddy. Let my daughter be visible to herself and need no one to give her what she can give herself.
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Good thoughts this morning as I finish my restorative yoga practice and slip into a warm bath with epsom salts. Thank you.
Thanks Shalah! This was the best. I am struggling to help Ivy with Believing in herself too.
A true epidemic we are dealing with with our girls Cindy. One we would unwittingly pass along if we didn’t have a clue something’s got to change. Anytime you want to talk, I am always available. Always.
Love to you,