Daniel Tiger stood at the edge of the skating pond and looked nervously up at his father.
“What if I fall?”
Mr. Tiger lovingly replied, “Well, Miss Elaina fell, was she okay?”
Wow. Such a GREAT little parenting lesson. Sometimes we want to save our children from their fears by promising that bad things won’t happen. But here’s the deal. Bad things DO happen. So assuring our children that they won’t, well it’s lying, but also it will only increase their fears and frustration when the bad things inevitably occur. I’m sure a part of Daniel’s Dad wanted to shelter and assure his son, “No! Don’t be afraid Daniel, you won’t fall!”
But, he knew that life happens, and often when we try things, we fall. So instead of validating that Daniel should be afraid of falling, he changed the angle. He helped Daniel to see that it’s OKAY to fall, and that he should try anyway, knowing that possibility.
I’ve lived a lot of my life with anxiety, “what if”s, and thinking up the worst-case scenario in my head before I do something. I would love to instill in my children that they should try anyway. Knowing that bad things happen, knowing they will be okay if they fall, I want them to try anyway.
“I implore you: TRY.” – Zootopia
I was talking to my brother a couple days ago about a friend of ours who has had a rough go in life lately. My brother lamented about how nice our friend is, and it feels so unfair that he’s going through all these challenges right now.
I replied, “Yup. Life slaps you in the face, no matter how nice you are. But we might as well be nice anyway, because the truth is, life slaps everyone in the face.”
Remembering that we’re all together in this messy, painful battlefield of life makes it easier to have compassion on each other. This is where the new Cinderella movie quote comes in as one of my favorites:
“Have courage and be kind.”
Be brave. Life’s gonna be hard, no doubt, no question. But you’re also gonna be okay. So be brave enough to try. And then be kind to everyone around you, because they’re facing the same issue as you are: the fact that life is hard. Maybe if we cheer each other on, bring our kindness with us even though we know we’ll be knocked down, and be brave together, we can make life easier on all of us. That’s my favorite miracle in life, we got a whole bunch of people to go through it with. Maybe we wouldn’t be able to connect with each other the way we do if we didn’t have things to be brave about, or situations to practice kindness. So maybe the messy battlefield of life is really a blessing because it means we get to connect with each other, support each other, and discover love. And that’s pretty awesome. So, in life, just try anyway. Have courage and be kind. 😊❤️