My Children Will Do it Differently – #Reverb11 – Day 2

#Reverb11 prompt – Day 2
If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?
Post was thanks to

I would want my children, right from the start, to be given the love, the encouragement and support to create their own shaped peg, their own unique mould that evolves and changes and forever reflects with pride and celebration, honesty and bravery, what’s going on on the inside. I want my children to experience the beauty of difference. To not just feel comfortable in their own skin but to enjoy its shedding, blossoming, ever-changing nature.

I would give them choice, from day one. Not free reign, I’d give them firm boundaries, but within those boundaries of love I’d give them the experience of freedom to choose. To learn in their own way, to stand on their own two feet in their own good time. I wouldn’t thrust them into the deep end and tell them to toughen up, this is life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my folks, they are awesome and inspiring parents, they bundled me with love and they did their very best and their very best was amazing, but they were following rules too. Rules they were told by their parents, society, teachers, leaders in their time.

I would tell my children right off that no one has the answers, the answers come from within. That the big humans like to tell the little humans how to play life, how to do things, how to be, because in that moment it makes the big humans feel like they are in control, they know what is going on, they know how life works. They don’t. We’re all blind folded, every step of the way. You grow in self-awareness but life has always been and will always be a mystery. Answers are only found inside, with your back leant against a tree, feet planted in the soil and sand listening to the wisdom that comes from within.

I would let nature be their guide. I’d take their hand and encourage them to connect with the ground beneath their feet, listen to the wisdom in the trees, laugh with the wind, let their souls soar with the birds and experience in their movement.

I would encourage them to rebel, to question, to explore, to roar, to love, to be mindful. I would tell them that as much as I have to teach them, they have as much to teach me. That I’m here to guide them through their early years of growth, but that I don’t own them and they don’t owe me. All they ever owe anyone is their happiness and we each must know that happiness through exploring, experimenting, listening to our hearts and taking cues from the soul.

And then I would let them know that all of these ideas and opinions, all these perspectives of mine on life are just that: MY ideas, MY opinions, MY perspectives and that they must try them on, take the ones that work for them and leave the ones that don’t and then create their own ideas, opinions and perspectives, throw them in the air and see what life they create with them.

Why? Because I had to fight to discover this. I had to battle my way out of moulds I’d been trying to fit into as a child. Moulds I’d been given from parents, peers, teachers and my culture. Moulds that didn’t allow space for my heart and soul to sing and thrive. I had to stand firm as people rushed to wrap me back in the beliefs that they called truths. And while I am proud of the battle I have fought and the space I give to my heart and soul to grow today, I don’t believe that it has to be so hard. Life does not have to be a battle. It doesn’t have to be tough, it doesn’t have to be scary.

And so if one day I take on the role of guiding children through those formative years I will want to give them an experience of life as a mysterious, magical adventure, where you learn to ride the waves you catch, enjoy the tumbles and give thanks for the experience that is life. To honour your life by being kind to yourself, by loving yourself and sharing that love with others. That there is no one way to play it, so play it your way.

Selina Barker