A few days ago I spent the morning with my friend Amy, a 45 year-old mom and her 12 year-old daughter, Sara. For more than an hour we talked about Sara’s dream to be a recording artist when she’s older. Both her mother and I encouraged her and told her that she could do anything she set her mind to. We supported her 100% with great enthusiasm.
Interestingly enough, I asked Amy, the mom, about her own dream. Shyly, she told me that she’d love to be a writer and actually has a book or two in her closet that she wrote but “put away”. When I asked her why she put them away, she told me that she didn’t think they would be good enough to share with others.
I sat back and listened to her and was reminded of an experience more than 10 years ago with my own daughter, Carly. I was encouraging Carly to follow her dream… “You can be anything, do anything or create anything in your life- anything!” I told her. She stopped me by asking, “Mom, do you really believe that?” I told her that I did, only to have her turn it around and ask me, “If that’s true, then why aren’t you following your dream Mom?”
I was stunned. It’s my job as a mother to encourage, teach and guide my daughter… yet once again, here she was teaching ME something important. She told me that if I wanted her to really believe that she could do anything, then I had to show her by my example that I lived MY life that way too. After all, why would it apply to her and not to me?
In hearing Amy’s conversation with her daughter this morning, it all came back to me. I shared my story with them and told Amy that if she really wanted Sara to follow her dreams, it first starts with Amy following her own! Sara will learn by Amy’s example more than she will ever learn by Amy’s words.
Even in Nature, a mother eagle shows the eaglet how to fly and the mama bear teaches the cub how to find good berries- by example. Yet sometimes as mothers we sacrifice our happiness, our opportunity or our passion, for our kids- thinking that we’re “doing it for them”.
Perhaps the best gift we can give to our children is our example of living a expressive, totally fulfilled life. We need to model the life we wish for our children.
We are here to shine! Whether we are a mother or a daughter, a father or a son- we have an obligation to ourselves to be the best that we can be. From that alone, we can then be an incredible example to others as our world fills with possibility.
What talent have you been hiding in your closet? It’s time to bring it out and share that book or those songs. You were given your talent for a reason, so please share it with us! And, please free to share your thoughts below too. I look forward to hearing your success stories of how you are inspiring your children through your example.