Today is Mother's Day. As I sit here contemplating what it means to be a mother/parent I think about the life lessons I wish to impart to my children. If I could teach them one thing that would save them from heartache what would it be?
Don't be afraid to break other people's hearts.
Hear me out. I know this sentiment sounds strange but behind it is a wealth of lessons hidden within the one. The first is, be true to yourself. Don't be afraid to honor your own feelings at the expense of someone else's. Love yourself and others but not to your own detriment. Secondly, you are not responsible for how someone else feels. Third, listen to your gut instinct. If your instinct says this person isn't for you then that's OK. Don't be afraid to walk away from someone or something that isn't right for you.
Where does all this come from? Before meeting my husband/lifelong partner, I dated a lot of scumbags. Truly, I dated some terrible people. What kept me in these cycles of bad relationships is my sense of self-worth -- as in I didn't have one. I didn't feel like I deserved better or that my feelings mattered. I would go on these dates, unable to listen to my gut instincts, and ended up in some really horrible situations. I felt guilty for hurting someone else -- their feelings superseded my own because they were somehow more important than I was. I want my daughters to know their worth. That they matter. That they deserve better. This is the life lesson I would wish to impart to them.
Happy Mother's Day.