What if today, Mamas, we started to practice what we preach?
“When you get upset, count to ten.”
We are living in a world that demands action and reaction – And you better make it fast. Whether it’s deadlines, text messages, or conversations with children or spouses… As adults we forget that we are allowed to sit, pause, and just take a moment to take it in. Knee jerk reactions, well, they’re just sometimes not so great. So, today? When the world feels like it’s falling apart? Count to ten.
“God gave you legs, Baby. Use ‘em.”
Sound familiar? Whether we’ve said it, or whether it’s been said to us – We’ve definitely heard it one way or another. But today, remember that God also gave YOU legs. So move ‘em. Stretch ‘em. Remember that they are not just there to get you from Point A to Point B. They are also to be celebrated. So today? Walk around your garden. Or a local walking trail. Walk to the waters edge and see who can skip a rock the farthest. Just remember to move those legs that God gave you. Oh, and to the laundry room? That don’t count.
“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
Can we all just take a moment and admit that peer pressure doesn’t stop once you become an adult?! Whether it’s parenting choices, eating choices, relationship choices, career choices – You have to learn to do you, boo. For example, all of your friends are going out for drinks and grub, but you’re trying to improve your health? Go as their DD. There’s always a way to stay on that bridge, so plant your feet, Sister. Besides, there’s a good chance someone will need a life preserver anyway. Don’t jump. Stay right where you’re to.
“Just do your best.”
Mamas, when did this stop being good enough? When we became women? adults? mothers? When did we cross the line from “Just do our best” to “Just do everything in perfection and don’t stop until you do it just like the person next to you does it”?! Mamas – We are exhausting ourselves because somehow, somewhere we started believing that our best was no longer good enough. So let’s stop that at this very moment on this very day, shall we? For our best is not only good enough – It is more than enough. We just have to realize it for ourselves, that’s all.
“If they upset you, walk away.”
Why do we forget this as we become adults? Why do we feel the need to stand there (literally or figuratively) and just absorb a conversation that is not healthy for our hearts to hear? Whether it’s a boss, a friend, a spouse, a child who has refused yet another afternoon nap, or a teenager who feels like everything you say is wrong – Walk away. Catch your breath. And ask to hold the conversation when you are in a better place. For if you are in a low place, a negative conversation will just sink you further and further. Walk away. Trust me – Everyone will benefit from your action. Nothing productive will ever happen when someone is backed into a corner (just ask Baby. and if you don’t get this historical reference, check yourself).
“Keep making that face and it’ll freeze that way.”
Pay attention to your face, Mamas. That clenched jaw? Those furrowed eyebrows? Those tight lips? Your face is such a outward painting of what your heart is feeling. By keeping your face angry, stressed, or hurt – That’ll keep your heart angry, stressed, or hurt. Don’t freeze your face like that. You’re too darn beautiful, Mama. Relax that jaw. Release those eyebrows. And smile with those lips. That’s better.
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
You are responsible for who you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with hostility – You’ll become hostile. Surround yourself with Debbie Downers – You’ll become a Debbie Downer. Surround yourself with people who feel that they’re better than others – You’ll become to feel that you’re better than others. Surround yourself with positivity, laughter, light, and joy – You get where I’m going here. Create a circle that you can be proud to be a part of, and be the kind of person that your circle is proud to have. Just be the best buncha’ birds flocking around together. Life is just better that way.
And last, but certainly not least, the one that I preach to my children over and over (and over) again:
“Just be kind.”
At just two little words, six characters in total – This may be the most shortest of statements that we make to our children, but it is also one of the most powerful that we can say not only to our children – But also to ourselves. Just be kind. To the hearts of others, and to our own hearts. To friends; to family; to strangers that you meet in the grocery store aisle. Be kind. To your heart, your body, your being. To your children, your spouse, your next door neighbor. Tend to your own soul – And to the souls of others. The world has enough self hatred, and hatred for others, so don’t be joining in. Practice what you preach, Mama. Just be kind.
This piece originally appeared at Love Always, Heather, published with permission.