We all know our thoughts are powerful. Each of us has a variety of different messages we tell ourselves on a daily basis. But for many of us, these messages are full of self-criticism and negativity. What if we trained our minds to be on constant default to a positive thought? If we looked a criticism in the eye, acknowledged it, and then followed up with a positive mantra?
A couple of months ago, I was participating in a Twitter party focused on self-care, and one of the questions was: What is your greatest strength as a mom? A friend of mine on Twitter answered wisely: “That I am enough.”
The phrase struck a chord so deeply within me. There have been so many moments of motherhood where I’ve doubted myself, and my abilities as a parent. I’ve questioned whether I’m doing a good job in raising kind, compassionate and caring human beings, and what kind of role model I am for both my son and daughter.
But here’s the thing: self-compassion and self-love are the foundation of inner peace. When we are at peace with ourselves, our kids see that. And feel it. The greatest gift we can give our children is to be content within ourselves. There are always going to be things, “I could be better at,” or, “I should have done” or “I wish I had.” But these “things” don’t affect who we truly are. We are already enough.
What if, instead of beating ourselves up over a bad parenting moment, we can recognize it for just that—a bad parenting moment—and move on. But move on knowing that: we are enough. Or—if we screw up something (because we all do!)—we take responsibility for our actions, learn what not to do next time, and remind ourselves: we are enough.
There are going to be all sorts of hurdles and challenges and difficult situations—in both our own and our kids’ lives—that we have no control over. But the one thing we do have control over is the way we treat ourselves, and the way we think about ourselves.
I propose that we all adopt a new mantra for motherhood and that we practice saying it daily, over and over. Say it with me: I am enough.
I. Am. Enough.
Because we are.
PS—I also have a mantra about dirty clothes. Read about how I find zen amidst the laundry. Or learn from my mistakes and find out how I almost missed a huge cue from my daughter in a time I needed to listen most.