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  • Zainab Ebrahim

For my children

For my children…

Imagine you looked at your child and all you saw was their splendid character, their kind hearts, their inner beauty, and you smile in awe... you see no negatives, a soft gentle sensation comes over your heart, as you realise the gift you have been given.

Being a mom of 3 teenagers, I can confirm that your children come through you, but definitely not from you, and though are with you, they belong not to you (meaning neither are they for you)...famous words I know. But i truly believe it and knowing this, and having a deep understanding of this, allows for a sense of freedom as a parent.

Focusing on the last part of the famous Poem, by Khalil Gibran, “they belong not to you”, gives me a freedom that allows me to let go, to not want to control them, to tell them what to do, what to think, what to study, who they should be friends with. All I can do is put out a very clear intention, of wanting the very best for them. Not what society even expects from them. I encourage true freedom to find their gifts, their purpose, to be happy.

You see children follow what you do, not what you say. If you want them to be the best they can be, then you have to lead by example. If you want them to have good friends, gossip less, see the good in others, see their own worth, be happy and at peace with themselves, you have to do that first.

Children live what they learn. Not what you say. Many parents offer endless lectures, repeating the same things over and over, with very little impact. We don’t do things ourselves, but somehow expect our children to. They either comply out of guilt, or they do what they want anyway. You as a parent may just not know it.

At the same time, I have had the honour of learning from them. And I encourage every parent out there to be open, to learn from our children. There are precious lessons waiting. All we need to be is open and willing. These include, being carefree, being willing to try new things, to be open minded, to push boundaries, to live life to the fullest.

What a gift to our children, if we can be the best we can be, and I don’t mean, how much you have “achieved by material gain”, but rather by character, how we treat others and how we respect ourselves most importantly. To live life with purpose.

You see when you strive to be the best version of yourself, when you strive to be kinder to yourself first, the natural result of that is to be kinder to others, with genuine authenticity, starting with your own family first.

How many parents display the best versions of themselves to complete strangers and others out there, and treat their own families with contempt, displaying the worst sides of them daily. We should all strive as parents, to always show the best parts of ourselves to our family and those closest to us first.

People may wonder why I am so obsessed with Self-love...and there are so many reasons why. Firstly, you cannot give what you do not possess. So, if you do not truly love yourself, how can you give unconditional love to others, especially your children. Making our children feel guilty about not spending enough time with us, or not doing what we expect, or threatening them, putting pressure on their performance and grades. “Do what I want or else”, how is that unconditional love? Unconditional love starts with you.

When you love yourself, and accept all parts of you, you automatically see the very best in them. You are kinder, more compassionate, more understanding and supportive. What they do, is not based on what others and society will think of you. It is based on true unconditional love. You are able to give this love, even when they do not show you love, the way you expect it, or even the way you may feel you deserve it. You can let go, and know you have done the very best you could.

I mention this for us to become aware that our behaviour does impact our children so severely. We owe it to them, to firstly be the very best we can be. To lead by example. When you are happy, trust me, they understand what true happiness is and will learn a very healthy way of being.

This is my intention for my children. My commitment to myself first and to them, is to be the best I can be. To work on myself, to release the past, to work on any part of me that holds me back. I have much to learn, and unlearn and will continue doing so, always.

The lesson of non-attachment, continues to deepen, for me. I take solace, that love and truth will always prevail. I understand that they have their own path of growth and healing. They are their own unique beautiful beings. I know, I am their mother and what an honour😊.

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