You Are Who You Are
My daughter has the most amazing soul for a ten year old girl. I know that most people brag about their children, and of course, that is to be expected, but in all my years I have never met a child with such a beautiful soul as my daughter. I like to believe she earned that trait from my mother who was known for her kindness and contagious smile- I often say that she has her kind and old soul.
She is so unbelievably caring that sometimes she will tell me things that are so wise, I cannot believe that they just came out of her ten year old mouth. She will go out of her way to make someone smile, and cry for people who are less fortunate than her. Her empathy goes beyond her years and I often say she is a better person than me. She blows me away everyday with how truly special she is.
One example of her kindness that stands out in my mind is Christmas a few years ago. She was four years old at the time, and we were discussing some of the things that she wanted Santa to bring her while lying in her bed. All of a sudden, her eyes got really big and with all seriousness she asked “Mom, why don’t some kids get Christmas presents?” I assumed she was referring to the whole “Lump of Coal in the stocking” theory so I started to explain to her that Santa is always watching and sometimes if you don’t behave, you may not get what you asked for etc.
She looked at me and knowingly said “Mom that’s not what I mean- like on TV sometimes when there are kids who don’t have presents for Christmas and don’t have other stuff like clothes or shoes….why does that happen to those kids?”
Whew, that threw me for a loop. Not only was it late at night and my brain was in sleep mode, but I also was definitely not expecting this type of question to come out of my four year old daughter’s mouth. I tried to explain to her as best as I could that some kids are not as fortunate as she is and they don’t always have nice things, or even have food to eat every night. At the time, I didn’t want to scare her because of her age, but I also pride myself in being as honest with her as I possibly can.
After I told her this, she immediately got up from her bed, grabbed a large bag, and began putting some of her favorite toys in it. When I promptly asked what she was doing, I can still remember the exact response she gave me: “Mom, if there are kids out there that don’t have toys, then they can have all of mine- even the new ones I get for Christmas; I just want everyone to be happy.”
My heart literally exploded out of my chest and onto the floor- I told her that she didn’t have to give away ALL of her toys, but she and I could choose the ones she did not play with as much anymore and go drop them off to kids in need- and that is exactly what we did. Now every year for Christmas, she asks to do the same thing. We grab a bag, pack up some toys, and drop them off wherever we feel they are needed at the time. I honestly feel as if this excites her more than getting her own gifts Christmas morning.
That is just ONE example of the kind of soul my daughter has. There are many more instances in my mind that I could write about, but I will save that for another day.
Aside from being impeccably kind, she is also extremely shy and reserved.
This is something that I am not used to in the slightest, because for me, I do not have a shy bone in my body. My husband often jokes with me about the fact that I could have a conversation with a brick wall, and I truly believe this to be true. Most of the time, I do not know how to deal with her shyness, and at times, I find myself getting frustrated with her for it- something I am working on daily. I often struggle with accepting her personality and embracing who she is all while trying to push her out of her comfort zone to help her thrive.
She gets her shyness from her dad, and because she is so shy, she gets left out- a lot. Let me elaborate a little on what I mean by left out.
Most of the time, she gets invited to places- to birthday parties and other activities. She isn’t left out in THAT way. She is left out once we arrive at the parties and social functions.
My daughter does not like to be around a lot of people, which makes her very uncomfortable in social situations. She will not immediately gravitate to the group with the most people when we arrive. Instead, she usually stays as close to me as possible because it takes her time to get acclimated to the over stimulating environment. I can still remember when we used to have birthday parties for her at home when she was younger. I would often find her in her room alone because she was nervous having so many people in her space. This is what I mean by her being left out- she does not feel comfortable enough to insert and include herself in these situations like most kids her age do. That is just not her personality and at her age, it can cause both of us (mainly me) to feel left out.
What do I do to prevent this – to prevent her from feeling like she doesn’t fit in? As a parent, all we want to do is protect our children from any type of hurt. Do I just not bring her to the social functions anymore? Or do we go, and allow her to isolate herself and not talk to anyone until she is ready? What will people think?
Being left out SUCKS! Plain and simple- it doesn’t matter whether you are ten like my daughter or thirty three like me- it still sucks.
As an adult, I still feel left out fairly often, and regardless of what people or situation it may pertain to, those same childlike emotions come swarming back as if I was once again, the only girl not invited to the sleepover.
It makes you question yourself. It makes you think that there must be something wrong with you. We all have that same basic desire to be liked- as much as we say “I don’t care” to ourselves, in all reality, we do care. And it’s the caring part that makes it suck the most.
For me, I immediately think it must be my personality that is my downfall. I have a very outgoing and talkative personality, and for some people, I am too much. I’ll admit, I can come on a little strong at times, but that’s all that I know and it’s who I am. So when I get left out of something, my mind immediately goes back to that thought- that I must be “too much”. I immediately start to think of ways I should downplay my personality and remember situations in which I may have talked too much or been too much for someone.
However, the truth is- YOU are who you are, and whatever traits you possess that are “too much” for some people, were perfectly made for you, and you alone.
So what if you talk too much? Use your voice for those that listen and to make a difference in their lives!
So what if you are shy in a crowd? Use that shyness to make others just like you feel more comfortable in their surroundings!
So what if you don’t always get invited to everything? Take it as a lesson learned and choose to place yourself in circles of people who want you around and love you for YOU! Those are the ones that matter anyway!
You were not made to fit in with everyone- you were made to be unique and stand out!
There is only one YOU in this whole entire world, and that one you possesses wonderful qualities and gifts that no one else has.
From this moment on, STOP letting other people make you feel inferior.
STOP letting other people make you question yourself and your personality just because you weren’t invited to their latest gathering or you weren’t offered to tag along on their night out.
And most importantly, STOP APOLOGIZING FOR WHO YOU ARE!
The people that think you are not good enough are those people that do not matter. There are so many people in this world that love you for who you are that the rest do not matter.