I'm often tempted to discount or underestimate the impact I have on my children. While they're comforted by a hand on their forehead or the words "I love you", I'm constantly striving to do things that will teach them, comfort them, or show them love. My simple presence is enough but I feel I must be active in order for something to be achieved.
We do that in many areas of our lives, don't we? In our minds the expectations on us are great and we have to constantly produce, consistently "do something" to show that we are a valuable member of our family, our society, our world.
When did we lose sight and understanding of the intrinsic value we are all born with? At what point in a child's life does their self-worth shift from their very being to what they do and can produce? When do we first begin to weigh and judge others the same way? I don't remember that shift in my own life but realize as a 45 year-old adult that there has been a shift and I do determine my worth based on my output; based on what I do.
The problem with assessing self or others based on doing is that what we do will never be enough. There is always more to be done. Not to mention the fact that when we are busy doing we are striving to meet expectations. We all hold expectations, often unspoken. When we work to meet the expectations of others we are often shooting at an unidentified mark. For the type A, first borns like me, you already know you will never meet your own expectations either! I'll definitely share more about managing expectations later.
I love Psalm 139: 13-14. It is a beautiful reminder of the intricacy, the hope, the purpose for each and every being on this earth:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
When I sit with my boys, allowing myself to just "be" with them, it is the most precious time. I sit and look at them in awe and wonder of who they are, how they are growing, of their very being.
Allowing the awe and wonder of being, rather than the effort and pressure of doing, to be at the center of my relationships and interactions is a peaceful, respectful and mindful way to live. I will value those moments when I let go of doing and allow myself to simply be.