christmas sus1Christmas is definitely in the air and it’s such an exciting time. Like many of you, our decorations are starting to go up and ever so slowly, we are inching our way towards some much needed relaxation with family and friends. The festive season is such a wonderful time of year, however in saying that, it can be a tough time for many. It is a time when we stroll down memory lane and think on those who are no longer with us anymore, how things have changed. In this way, like some of you (I’m sure) I understand the feeling 100%. None the less, the world continues and a new day dawns.
Personally, I love how Christmas allows everyone space to stop and think about those who are special to us and how Christmas seems to be a time where people focus on one another and on making a difference, not only in our own lives but beyond ourselves.
As we look outside of ourselves, and the world around us that seems to be filled with the magic of Christmas, we get the opportunity to pause and take a good look internally as well. We are able to really search our hearts and minds and determine where we place value whether that be relationships or even on things. For the purpose of this article, I would like to talk about the value we put on relationships and more to the point, the relationships we have that speak into our lives and help shape us into who we are becoming and who we are meant to be.
So, today my question is, who are we (myself included) allowing to speak into our lives and over our lives? If you’ve never heard anyone ask that question, let me unpack it for you.
Words are powerful and when used correctly, they can encourage us to do things we may have never dreamed possible. Words can give us wings to fly. Words can heal. Words can rescue and words can bring life into dark situations. However, words can also hurt. Words can destroy. Words can dibilatate and just as they can encourage, they can discourage. I hope that all makes sense. Basically, that old saying that says: ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones but words/names will never hurt me” is possibly one of lifes greatest lies. Words/names can hurt and they can lead to a life less than the one you have been given simply because we can chose to believe what someone said about or to us.
We all have that one teacher or maybe even a parent or perhaps a ‘so-called’ friend who said something that has stuck and that can still bring a sting back into our voice, even if it’s been 20 years since the words were spoken. Equally, we may have a teacher, parent or friend who believed in us, who told us that we could do anything we set our minds to…. that one who simply cheered us on and the one that brings a smile to your heart and face at every mention.
I speak about this because we, as parents, have the incredible opportunity (or as I like to think…. blessing) to influence our children and help them build their belief and value systems. Now when I refer to belief and value I’m not thinking of a religious belief (although faith can play a big role in peoples lives) what I’m referring to is a belief and value system about ourselves and our lives. In this aspect, we are able to share and teach our children giving them a strong foundation to stand on.
So many people in our lives have a big part to play in developing our belief systems, as mentioned above, if we have had people we admire or love tell us we are no good at something we will most likely believe this to be true even if its not. If we have had people we admire tell us we need to fear something we most likely will fear it, even if its a false fear they hold for themselves and there is no need for us to fear. Simply because they said it (to us) we grab on to it and adopt it as our own.
On the other hand (and this is what I want to highlight today) when we have people tell us “you can do it” we will most likely will adopt and believe the belief within ourselves that we can.
People who see challenges as a huge opportunity for growth and encourage us to tackle them head on without fear but an expectation of success. These are the people who help us develop healthy belief systems and who propel us towards becoming who we were created to be.
As we begin to wrap up 2013 and move towards 2014 with goals and dreams in mind, can I encourage you to search your relationships and if you discover that you have people, whether they be family or friends who you can see have created unhealthy belief systems for you or shared theirs with you, don’t disregard them rather love them, BUT learn how you need to change those beliefs and values and perhaps you will begin to influence them in a more positive light. Exciting, indeed.
With all of this in mind, as we go about buying and preparing gifts for the special people in our lives, remember the one amazing gift we can give all year long to our children and each other – that is the gift of a healthy belief and value system. For our children, a belief that they are magnificent, they are special, they are valued and valuable, that they can achieve their dreams and a value system where they recognise the value not only in themselvs but within everyone around them.
This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and one that will last a life-time. And, in my years of experience (now as a Grandparent) when you see this being handed down, through the generations, it is priceless and yet costs a lot from us. It costs time, effort, unconditional love and lots of encouragement. This gift truly changes lives, develops champions and makes the world a better place. It sets our children up for life and it isn’t limited to once a year. It is gladly received and appreciated more and more as time goes on.
Personally, I live to give this gift to as many people as I can and I love most of all to give it to my family. Won’t you join me in this and watch your children and those in your sphere of influence flourish. Give the gift of a healthy belief and value system to the special people in your life. Together, we can make a difference.
Much love,
Susanna Bateman