As a parent, there are a million joys that come from getting to know your little humans. I’ve always been fascinated by nature vs. nurture. The thing that has taken my heart by storm, however, is children’s absolute knowledge and love of themselves without reservation. My number one job as a mama? Don’t let the world take it from them as it has taken from me and so many others. Teach my sons to honor their knowing and worth.
Looking at Ourselves
There is an awakening in coming through trauma. It’s like walking through a forest all night and finally seeing the sun slowly peek in to remind us of the love inside of us. The walk is terrifying but deep inside you know the sun always rises; that your worth is real. Yet so many of us get lost in the forest and are never able to guide ourselves back to the sun.
How did we get there, to that dark forest? We get lost and follow the compass of the world instead of the compass of our hearts thinking the answer to happiness is out there. We listen to the noise of the world around us telling us things like, “I’ve got what you need, you are not enough, you are broken.” That noise is lying and pulling all of us away from ourselves.
With the world telling us that happiness is out there and we are inherently broken, our knowing from within gets buried. Materialism, greed, judgment, and power are running our world dry and hearts dry. Yet how many of us have gone through this life thinking if we get the next best car, outfit, house, lifestyle, job, or position we will in fact be happy? That the desires burning in our own hearts are somehow wrong? Then, from the people lost in these lies, we’re also taught what to value and build entire societies based on their belief of scarcity and self-hate. That everyone else must have something that we don’t. That we should all be afraid and protect what’s ours. That right there? That’s how wars get started and Capitals get raided.
This feeling is an emptiness inside of the righteous who are unwilling to look inside themselves and say, “I feel lonely, I feel unimportant, I feel sad, depressed, anxious–like I’m not enough,” and the like. It’s too painful to look inside and see what hurts, so a shield of righteousness is created. Then, those of us who believed the words the world crafted from fear get lost. When we say that our problems come from other people we are simply fleeing from ourselves.
Getting Out of the Forest
If you are of the opinion that your happiness is contingent on someone else giving you something they took from you know this; you are lost in the forest. The world is full of joy, beauty, and happiness but this joy is found in a leaf crackling under bare feet in the fall, not in your new Mercedes. It’s in seeing a child in need of a meal getting to break bread with their entire family. It’s in learning who in the world is without water and then getting water to them. It’s in extending grace to ourselves when we are unkind, then trying again. It is in the pure knowing that inside of our own hearts is more than we have ever needed. That we are all equal. That when a person is suffering the bravest thing we can do is extend a hand not a firearm.
My grandpa was in the navy during World War II. One year, at a family reunion, he brought his trunk from the war and began sharing its contents with us. As he told us the story of his ship being hit by a kamikaze he pulled a spark plug out of his trunk. Grandpa reflected on how as the Japanese fighter lay dying on the ship, his shipmates began shouting and spitting on him. My grandpa recalled telling his fellow shipmates to stop and have respect; this man had a mother too.
So much of humanity is lost in the darkness of the forest believing they will find the path out through hate, force, self-defense, and self-righteousness. If they continue to believe they will find the path this way they’ll be lost their whole lives. Others are lost believing the stories being told by those lost in hate. Remember this; we were all tiny children who knew fully who we were before the world told us otherwise. I’ll tell you all what I tell my sons, “joy is your birthright.” I’m also in need of a daily reminder to myself because joy is my birthright too.
Changing Our Future
Collectively, I believe we are finally shifting within the world to say these fear-based behaviors are not true. It’s a small voice and a loud voice. Behavior rooted in fear is actively damaging to the world. To shift from this behavior, we have to be strong enough to know ourselves and stand up for love and against the damaging behaviors of others; to those still lost in the forest. The only way to do this is to shut down the noise of the world knowing we are enough just as we are. That we are worth love, belonging, joy, and happiness. That we can step away from any path taking us from the sun and choose again.
Through the discomfort of shedding every single thing that takes you from your knowledge, you can be reborn into who you always were before the world told you lies. For you too were once a tiny child fully in love with yourself and the breeze in the trees.