Many years ago, I began journaling to create a record of my personal experiences, innermost thoughts, observations, and life lessons. I was not one of the mothers who embraced scrapbooking. Actually, I longed to be one of those organized, crafty mothers who created beautiful visual records of each child’s life, however, I just couldn’t get into it. I tried, I really did, but realized that I would need to come up with another plan to record life’s happy moments so my daughters would have an archive of them when I was gone. This was very important to me as I lost my mother and father when I was in my early twenties. While emptying out my childhood home after their passing, I recall searching for any signs of such records. I desperately looked for scrapbooks, diaries, letters, or notes, anything that preserved a memory, a thought or loving sentiment from one of my parents. I never found one.
Years later, when my daughters were growing, and I was so busy doing rather than being, I paused one day and remembered the promise I had made to myself. I would take the time to create a record for my girls. Realizing that photography was not my forte, I began to write. I secretly admit I have an addiction for journals. Whether at the bookstore register, the sale shelf at Marshall’s or a high end stationary store, I confess that I cannot pass them up. Not only do I buy them for myself, I always make sure my daughters have one by their nightstand so that they are able to express themselves should the mood strike them.
In writing this piece, I decided to go through some of my journal pages and reflect on various life lesson’s or thoughts that I have recorded for my daughter’s and share them with you. The thought crossed my mind that you too may not be a scrap booker, or a journalist, rather, you could be a sharer! In today’s digital world, sharing is often times caring! Finding relevant information that you share with your children is a great way to document your thoughts and emotions when the information echo’s your sentiment and you relate to the words as if you had written them yourself. Maybe some of my lessons are your lessons too?
Lessons I want to share with my daughters:
· Have the courage to express yourself! Never suppress your feelings in order to keep peace with others. If you do, you may end up with a bit of resentment and as a result may never become who you are truly capable of becoming. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Dr. Seuss
· be happier!
happiness is a choice. Only you hold the key to your happiness. Seek the things in life that bring you joy and gravitate toward them. Pay attention to what makes you happy, the kind of people, places and things that make your heart sing. Don’t just look for happiness, create it!
· Find your tribe! Immerse yourself in the right people. The people who support you, who challenge you (in a good way), who are there for you in good times and bad, and truly have your best intentions at heart. And once you find these people, work hard to keep them in your life…this will become difficult at times, but make the time and keep these special relationships alive.
· Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you!
Do not catch the “disease to please” …if you start to feel yourself coming down with it, build boundaries. Assert yourself and do what’s best for you. Get clear on your intention in saying “yes” to others. Are you afraid of disappointing them, or rather, are you being true to yourself? Don’t get too wrapped up in doing that you lose sight of being.
· Be grateful for the little things in life! One day the little things in life will become the big things…never take anything for granted. When you live with gratitude and grace, life is richer and more fulfilling. Expect nothing and appreciate everything.
· Give, support others and volunteer! It is our duty as human beings to help others, always be kind…there is no other way to be.
· Seek the fullest expression of yourself! Find your purpose or what brings meaning to your life. If you have no idea where to start…just pay attention, simply be and trust that someday you will figure it out. Just be aware that it exists somewhere within you and is waiting for you to discover it.
· Stay curious! Curiosity may be your best tool for personal growth. Keep your mind open to others opinions, ask questions, seek your own answers, then challenge yourself on how true your answers may be? Never limit yourself in certainty. Build bridges, find common ground, and when you can’t…simply let stuff go.
· Honor your mother and father…
I have few regrets in life, however, I was never given the opportunity to say “goodbye” to my father, and to thank him for his wisdom, his support and his love. In the end, I realize we all have that opportunity day in and day out to convey how much we love one another…seize the day and honor the ones you love.
· If you are going to get a tattoo, make it a worthwhile message and then live by it! My oldest daughter got a tattoo that reads, “love yourself first”, although I do not approve of tattoos, I approve of her message…my wish is for all of my daughters to love themselves first, before seeking love from anyone else, self-love is the key to living a fulfilled life.
· I add these blank bullets for futures lessons I will learn and then pass along through my journaling. I will continue this process until I can no longer write. We are all a work in progress, a masterpiece in the making…keep making!
Megan Murphy, CPC, ELI-MP