This I Believe

Nathalie - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: children

I believe that with each breath, each new moment, we have the power to change, to be better than we were just a moment ago. I believe in the power of going forward, of stopping your words or actions, right here, right now, and going forward.

I am a 35 year old mother of two. My children are 4 and 2 years old. I am a pretty laid back person, I don’t get upset very easily, but once I’m upset, it’s hard to pull out of it. The way I punish those who have upset me is quite effective. I withdraw.

I’ve always reacted this way and most ruthlessly with people I most care about. There’s some irony in that.

I’ve watched my older daughter reacting this way also. Whether it’s a game that she loses or the idea of sharing when it doesn’t suit her, she first becomes angry, then withdraws. I remember once when our family was playing around with some yoga poses after dinner. My older daughter didn’t like the idea of having to give a turn to her sibling and she decided that she wasn’t going to play anymore.

I recognized that look, the body language, then the withdrawal. She sat at the stairs where we could still see her and she could watch us, but she would remain separate of us. We asked her to come back and join us, but she wouldn’t do it. She couldn’t. I recognized myself in her actions. I felt guilty about what I had passed on to my daughter. Seeing this in her forced me to take a good look at myself.

When the ‘aha’ moment came, it was so simple. We make things so much more complicated than necessary, and what seemed to sum this up so completely was to go forward, to stop your words, stop your actions and go forward.

I talk about this with my daughter often. We have lots of opportunities to perfect this! Every time I see her getting angry or starting to withdraw, I try to remind her to just stop her words, stop her actions and go forward. And this has become a lesson for me as well.

I have heard things repeated by my children that I cringe at. My words coming back to me and filling me with regret and shame. I also hear things that make me pretty proud, proud to know they really got what I was saying. My daughter has even told me to go forward, to stop my words and go forward. “Right mommy?” in her little voice as she tries to pull me out of whatever it is I’m caught up in. I smile at the thought of learning such a wise thing from a 4 year old!

I believe this idea of stopping your words, stopping your actions and going forward has the power to heal and to change lives. It doesn’t matter where we are in our life, we can choose to go forward right this moment.