She was no more than four feet tall and no older than nine years old but she just managed to shake the ground beneath me.
Well, it was actually a dock that was beneath me and it could just have been the waves lapping against it, but the sweet little girl that had nonchalantly skipped down from her cottage to join my friend and I was perhaps the most enlightened person I had ever met.
I was in the middle of a coaching a friend of mine out at her lakeside oasis when this little glowing brunette made her appearance. Messages, wake-up calls, aha moments come in all varieties. This one in particular came in the from an enthusiastic girl waiting for her parents to the beach.
I was just about to get into the good stuff with my friend when this little girl sat down beside us. Seeing quickly that she wasn’t leaving anytime soon, we gave her a piece of paper and some pencil crayons which I’d had on hand for some creative brainstorming. We got back to the session at hand, thinking (so naively) she wouldn’t understand our adult conversation.
How. Wrong. We. Were.
As I was asking my friend what she thought her gift, her ‘superpower’ was, our new acquaintance chimed in with her eyes still focused on the colouring masterpiece at hand. “Love,” was all she said at first, which was enough to perk our interest. “Love is my super power,” she continued. “I love love. Love is the best thing in the world. If you have love, then you feel nice and if you feel nice, there is no reason to feel bad.”
Our jaws dropped while our eyes simultaneously veered to one another with a look that said, ‘is this girl for real? Is this happening right now?’
My momentary lapse of surprise shifted to appreciation. “Wow” I replied, “sounds like you have it all figured out. If only adults knew it was that easy.” The girl looked up at me and said matter-of-factly, “Ohhh trussst me! I KNOW how easy it is,” coupling this with an eye roll and promptly going back to her drawing.
Her words couldn’t have been more perfect, as both my friend needed to hear them.
Children are less affected by the daily demands of society and our cultural expectations. They are free to just be. However we forget along the way that we are equally as free. These social constructs, the outward attainment, the materialistic gains, the gotta, shoulda, have to have this wheel of never-ending striving keeps us from seeing the truth:
We are perfect as we are. Life is perfect as it is already exists in this moment.
We are the creators of our struggles. Pain or struggle happens when our current life situation doesn’t meet our expectations of how we feel it should be, whether in our lives, our body, our relationships or careers. And our expectations are often influenced by the social constructs that surround us: you must be skinny to be beautiful, buff to be hot, have a great career to be significant, become wealthy to be successful, have a house to be on track, have the latest this or that to fit in.
This problem with this flawed formula is that we will always need to seek outside of ourselves for validation. In doing so we will always be searching, never satisfied and miss what’s right in front of us.
You already got it all. In fact, you were born with it all. Just as that little girl so wisely recognized, just being alive, just being where she was in that moment, just colouring, just conversing, just feeling the love within her was enough.
Struggle is self-made. But being the creators of it we are equally capable of letting it go, of choosing to differently. Letting go of the need to please, of the need to look a particular way, of being liked, of needing to impress.
Refuse to punish yourself any longer for not having, doing or being, because there is nothing you need to have, do, or be to love and be loved. You already are. No strings attached.
I would love to hear from you. What is one struggle in your life that you are willing let go?