It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday morning. My oldest daughter had her 25 min break from remote learning so we thought we would sneak away and get a quick walk in.
We ran around playing the usuals - freeze tag, duck duck goose (my 4 year old’s favorite but definitely the game that reminds me that my "sitting to running" speed is not what is used to be…ha!).
We were walking back in time for remote learning to start back up, and I see my youngest jumping around, skipping sideways, flapping and moving her arms around, holding her hair out all while looking at the ground.
I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing but that wouldn’t be the first time. I was about to crack a joke about having “ants in your pants” and then I realized what she was doing. She was playing with her shadow.
When is the last time you noticed and played with your shadow as an adult? Yeah me too, me too.
I asked her if she was playing with her shadow and without looking up, she said “Yep.” I replied, “I love that … looks like a lot of fun!”
My oldest immediately chimed in and said “Ohhh yeah your shadow is always with you, it never goes away.”
"It never goes away" ...what a comforting statement. Whether we relate it to love or someone special, there is great comfort in knowing that something is always there and always with you... no matter what.
The first thing that came to my mind was...what a great way to plant the seed of our higher self or true self in our kids.
I said "Did you know there is a part of you that you can't see that is always with you - it is full of love, strength, guidance, wisdom. It's kind of like what you just said about the shadow - it is always with you and never goes away."
I am not sure if they fully understood it at the time but the seed was planted and they listened.
We are constantly hearing things like “Everything you need is inside you” or “There is greatness within all of us.” It took me a while to truly understand what this meant because I couldn't see this "greatness" all the time in my life.
Sometimes those statements were overwhelming and frustrating because I felt like maybe I didn't have that. It felt out of reach.
Much later in my life through meditation, introspection, reading I finally realized that it is ALWAYS with you and that it’s just a matter of you realizing this and finding it. This felt a lot more comforting. It gave me a secret supply of strength and confidence.
I want my kids to know this sooner….much sooner.
As with all of these truths and beliefs, how do you teach a child something that we might still be wrapping our own heads around or trying to understand?
You don’t have to be in a place where you have achieved or found that greatness within you as a parent, in order to teach your kids. The point is to make sure they KNOW that it is always there…..like your shadow.
It is a part of you that is not fearful and is full of love.
I knew I wanted my kids to know this about themselves as soon as I understood it. That there will always be part of them that is their "higher" or "true" or "divine" self even when they feel like they aren't their best on the outside. Regardless of what is happening on the outside, this part of us never goes away or changes. Never.
Sometimes we just need to work to clear the fog to find it and see it. That might be our greatest purpose in this life.
It’s that superpower that we always talk to kids about having - but it's a quiet superpower, one that doesn’t put on a show or try to impress others. It is a quiet, steady, strong force within us that we can always lean on and find comfort in.
It’s like a shadow - always there but not in your face, never leaves your side, calm & peaceful, subtle and a part of you!