Yesterday, I learn about how to help children love who they are–who God uniquely made them to be. I’m observing the problems of conformity, popularity, social acceptance, and rejection all played out in my daughters’ (and my own) lives.
We cry a lot around here. It’s painful to not fit in.
It’s painful, but as my great friend in Texas reminded me this week: “If you’re rejected by the popular crowd, it’s probably because you’re doing something right.” This is the woman who regularly reminds me that I’m the perfect mother for my children.
So instead of thinking about all the ways we’re rejected, we’re thinking about self-acceptance. We’re delighting in the unique, quirky, totally awesome things about us.
It’s working. My prayers are working. I find that when children are being themselves–creating, imagining, playing freely–they stop thinking about popularity. They remember they are made for something great, and this probably means they won’t fit in.
That’s OK. We’re really learning that’s OK around here. I tell my friends it took me 30 years to really accept myself and believe in God’s complete acceptance of me. Living with flair surely means we relish in God’s unconditional acceptance of us in Christ. When we know this, we run across the playground freely without a care in the world.
When did you finally accept yourself?
Having children helped to teach me to accept myself. Seeing how different they are from each other and yet loving them both so desperately helped me realize that we all have unique gifts we bring to the world, including me. So if I don't measure up to someone else's standard, that's OK. That person is doing what she does well, and I have something else to offer that is just as valuable to someone out there.
Teaching children to accept other kids and to look for their unique gifts also reinforces this lesson. If I had never had children, which I thought was the plan for me, I might have missed this important lesson.