Welcome to the Spark. Short regular blogs with musings, experiences, tips, links or general knowledge to help #IgniteYourSpark.
The Spark is a regular journal, so to speak, from the world of SparkHub. We will bring to you in-house and guest blogs that cover a wide range of topics, tips, tricks, daily experiences or just a thought-provoking idea to help #IgniteYourSpark.
Today’s Spark is brought to you by SparkHub founder and chief igniter, Sara.
Are we born with the ability to love ourselves? Are those tiny, warm, vulnerable little creatures, fresh out of the womb’s protection, capable of loving themselves? Or is it learned behaviour? It’s so hard to tell. I’m personally not so sure. I’m sure there is an innate wisdom and instinct for self-preservation. But I’m so not sure about their ability to self-love from birth that I believe it is of paramount importance that we aim to nurture this in all our children.
We will undoubtedly bring them up in the light of our enduring love for them and that, throughout their lives, they will be loved deeply and fiercely by others and they in return will love deeply and fiercely. That love, however, will be felt even more deeply and fiercely if they have nurtured the ability to practice self-love too.
How do we teach them to self-love? Is there a rulebook? I believe we probably do this in the same way we teach them core values; kindness, compassion, non-violent communication, inclusion, equality…by practicing it ourselves. And this practice needs to come from a place of sincerity and authenticity. Children are wise, intuitive, psychic little beings when it comes to their parents. They will eventually sniff out a “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” approach. Now matter how well our mask of self-love is painted – if we’re not truly trying to practice it, or even believing the concept, it will begin to rub off.
I don’t say this from any place of perfection of self-righteousness. I struggle daily with my own self-love…often even my own self-like. I do absolutely believe that any self-development or recovery should be done for oneself as the primary motivation. Ask any recovering addict, they can’t ever quit by doing it for someone else. But when I had a child I received an added drive to keep my own destructive thoughts and behaviours in check. And to work on them! Now, I start for myself and keep going on the path for her.
For at least the first 7 years of her precious life, argued as the most formative, her primary guides and teachers are myself and her dad. The moment that + sign appeared on the test we had a duty to decide that if we chose this new path of parenthood we owed to lead by example, to the best of our ability.
We don’t always get it right, we will never always get this right. But it starts with intention.