Sunday, June 28, 2015

Help yourself, and then help others

As evidenced by the fact that most of you didn't get notified about my blog post last week, I didn't feel quite right about it. Not that there was anything wrong about the post - it just wasn't in the right tone. I wanted to radiate more positivity and confidence than what it had to offer.

So here's this post's theme: help yourself, and then help others.

We've all heard this analogy before: you're on an airplane and the oxygen masks are released. What do you do? You secure your own mask before securing the masks of those around you. How has this idea been applied before?

1. In terms of physical safety, as in the situation with the oxygen masks.
2. Spiritual safety. For an example, see Elder Anderson's talk from the October 2014 General Conference.
3. Health and wellness. I've seen this a lot lately online: take care of your own eating habits (clean them up), and THEN worry about helping others.
4. I don't know how new this idea is - it only just occurred to me for this blog post: CONFIDENCE AND LOVE FOR YOURSELF.

I'm a mother. As a mother, I want to teach my children how to see value in themselves, how to love themselves. I want to teach them how to be confident - a healthful confidence, not an overly prideful confidence. What is the most effective method to do this?

I think what is typical is trying to fill each individual with that confidence. We shower our children with praise and approval, hoping to see the light in their eyes as their confidence grows. We are basically TELLING them how to feel confident. Which is great. . . But isn't SHOWING the more effective method of teaching?

How can you SHOW your child how to be confident?

Could it be that the key to self worth, self confidence, self love, for our children is mastering the same for ourselves? We need to learn how to be confident with ourselves, and then we may lead by example.

People spend a lot of time showing OTHERS their approval, trying to convince them that they agree with what the other person is doing, and they spend less time showing THEMSELVES their own approval. Sure, we spend time rationalizing things. But how often does each of us look in the mirror and approve of what we see?

It is absolutely wonderful to praise others. It's been said that it is WRONG to withhold praise. But we naturally resort to TELLING them the reasons they should love themselves. We don't even fully realize that they're learning from what they see us do EVERY DAY.

Here's the part you've heard before: what expressions does your child see you make when you look in the mirror? Does he/she see you grimace or frown? Does he/she see you smile? Does your child watch you weigh yourself? Does he/she hear you use the word "fat"? Does he or she hear you fretting about your appearance? Talking about how much or how little you're eating? Whether you think it was the right amount or the wrong amount?

If it's possible to gain a negative perspective on self through example, is it also possible for them to find more balance with themselves if you show them the way? Let's turn this on it's head. What can your child hear from you to learn how to see the good in themselves ON THEIR OWN?

Does this fit here?: Teach your child how to fish, don't always just hand him the fish.

Handing out compliments is great, but your child needs to know how to see those compliments on his own, without someone pointing them out. Help him or her create a positive self voice by setting the example of what that can sound like.

Do you approve of yourself? Why or why not? What can you do to change that? If you know what you can do, why aren't you DOING it? What is keeping you from loving yourself?

Learn how to love yourself. Whatever the way you believe you should eat, come to harmony with it. Find harmony with your heart, your spirit, your body. Learn to like the PERSON you see in the mirror. Spend less time looking for imperfections and more time reflecting on the happiness there. Then walk away and let that happiness, contentment, and harmony radiate outward and change others.

On another note, if you can't learn to stop focusing on what's wrong with yourSELF, then how can you ever learn to be selfLESS? You need to learn to love yourself so that you are MORE CAPABLE of loving others. Find that harmony within so that you can stop centering your thoughts on yourself: what you're doing wrong, how you look wrong, how you feel wrong, etc. What are you doing RIGHT? How can you do more RIGHT? And how can you spread that RIGHT out so that others can benefit from the difference?

But don't let what I'm saying deter you from doing RIGHT for others immediately. Serving others can be incredibly healing for the soul. It can boost your spirit, and help you to love yourself.

Whatever you do, it's a cycle. Love yourself so that you can love others, and love others so that you can love yourself.

And don't get deterred by the small mistakes you make on the way! Love yourself AS you make yourself better.

Come into harmony with your body so that you can better reach harmony within yourself, your spirit, with your children, with the earth, and with God.

No comments:

Post a Comment