When I recently saw this picture it really touched my heart. The back story is that when my youngest daughter was 2, there was a few days where she would walk around the house and say, “My face is dark, and no one likes me.” I realized that someone in school had said this to her. We addressed the issue calmly (even though there were moments I thought I might lose it!)
The entire experience allowed me to heal with her. All my life I have been told I was dark, I was skinny, I was a just a girl. The worst part was that it was by other dark, skinny, Indians! Joking aside, it completely affected my self-confidence, self-compassion and self-love. If I lacked all that in myself, I definitely didn’t have the compassion and love to give anyone else. The worst thing a person can do is define someone by anything other than their soul and spirit.
I am called to share this story, because the topic keeps following me. I went to dinner with my girls and my cousin sister. Our waiter came to take our order and as he turned to walk away, my 3 year old daughter says, “ Mommy, why is his face black?” My immediate reaction was OMG! Thank God he didn’t hear! Then I looked at her innocent big brown eyes as she waited for an answer, and realized the beauty of this child.
I am grateful that she is wondering this, because it means that in her heart, mind, body, soul she believes we are all one, but we just look a little different. I heard a recent quote: “souls recognize each other by the way they feel not the way they look.” (Anonymous)
We are all souls, who are on a journey; a journey of growth and fulfillment. There is no judgment in that, there is no color, or creed, or sex in that. Just beautiful light knowing this body is the vehicle to get the lessons we need and make whatever changes we can in the world.
We are all still individuals, and no one person is alike. If I look at my own daughters, they are as different as night and day, from their looks, to their thoughts, to their likes and dislikes. If they can be so different having come from the same genetic make up, I know that stereotyping people based on religion, or race, or sex is absurd. Forget what you’ve been taught in the past, you get to make your own choices in the present.
The reason I really wanted to share this experience is also because so many mothers, like myself, want to be like “uh check please,” and get out of there. I got embarrassed and started to question my mothering skills. Instead we can share these stories and realize that we should be patting each other on the back. We can look at our innocent toddlers and realize we have encouraged this beauty of oneness, curiosity and truth. The next time my daughter tells the hairdresser she doesn’t like her haircut, I can shrug my shoulders and think well atleast she’s honest. I know if I keep guiding her openness and love, she will be able to honor others and use words that heal people without compromising her own truth.
The lessons she reminded me of were so much greater than any response I could have given her. For what its worth, I told to her we all look different to make the world interesting. Where’s the fun in looking the same as everyone else. (She’s 3 and everything revolves around dress up and being fabulous.)
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than the opposite.”—Nelson Mendela
Photo Credit: http://weheartit.com/entry/105315826