We Were All Meant to Shine, as Children Do

I must say, as weird as it is to think about my friends as parents, I am so thankful that at any point of any day I can log in to Facebook and see some post about something wonderful their baby or toddler has done that makes us all smile. Yesterday this was as simple as baby’s first experience with snow, but it comes in all forms. I waste a lot of time stressed out, tired, high strung, worried, you name it. However, I try to make sure that every day I take at least one minute to appreciate something that is simple and beautiful as children do. I envy the child that can open all their Christmas presents and be happy with the boxes. I envy the child who can design an entire world inside a fort. I was once this creative but the stress of everyday life so often gets in the way of that. When it comes down to it though, what are we really afraid of?

Are we afraid of being inadequate or being powerful beyond measure? I think for myself I am more afraid of my light not my darkness that frightens me. In my work, I am expected to come up with new ideas every day (whether they are good or bad), but I do believe it is easier to share an idea I see as mediocre than an idea I see as great. Why is this? Am I shrinking so that others lower their expectations of me? Or am I afraid of being shut down when I think an idea is phenomenal? It’s the latter rather than the former that usually stops us from letting our greatness shine. We would rather know everything that could possibly go wrong before bringing an idea to the table so that nothing will shock us, and nothing will catch us off guard. However, we learn so much from other people. We learn from all people too; big, small, short, tall, black, brown, yellow, blue, green, with IQs of 10 and 210 (not a typo).

Yesterday I brought an idea up that I had several methods of support for and as soon as it came out of my mouth the response was, “yes, you’re right and I know what the answer to your question is but you need to do it.” At first I was offended, why would someone withhold that information from me? Then I thought about it for another 30 minutes or so and realized it was up to me to figure that out. If I didn’t catch that small, but impactful idiosyncrasy myself, I wouldn’t have learned nearly as much from it. Then, I thought about it for another few hours and realized that is also how children learn many things. As caregivers there are things we keep from children to maintain their innocence that they surprise us when they know. How often does it sadden us that children have lost even the smallest piece of their innocence? However, when we look back on our own lives how often are we happy with the results where they stand? How often do we look back on us defiling our innocence and (sometimes wish we had held off), but are actually happy we learned when we did rather than later in life? Often, I hope.

So, when we have the opportunity to overcome our inadequacies and exhibit our greatnesses, it no longer matters how we got there. We could have been born into it, achieved it, or merely given it and expected to do our best. Regardless of the situation, almost any time a child is proud of themselves, we are also happy, if even for a moment (because, let’s be honest, a masterpiece on the wall isn’t always welcome). This is how we should live our own lives because we are all great. We are all meant to shine as children do.

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