I’ve had a lesson this past month in the school of life. One I’m still cramming and studying for. A lesson that I don’t think I’ll ace, at least not anytime soon, but I’m still working on it. And if for some reason you ever feel like you haven’t learned enough (hello, all of us) and want to have a permanent teacher in your home (hello, none of us), just have a kid, or two, or three. The lessons that we learn from, and mostly through having and raising them, are invaluable.
This past week both of my children had belt testing for their next belt color in Taekwondo. They’ve been learning and practicing for a little while now and though Aliyah was excited to promote in rank, the thought of breaking that board on the first try had her shaking in her boots. In her barefeet I should say since there are no boots in Taekwondo. As I gave the good ole’ parental pep talk when the time came close of “Just do your best, I’m proud of you no matter what!” and cheered my girl on from the sidelines, I was hearing it for myself as well.
The room was a blur of boards breaking, parents cheering and a roar of handclaps and camera shutters snapping as her instructor neared her, picking up boards that classmates hi’yah-ed in two. I studied her face, her tentative eyes watching, tight lips trying to smile for her friends and yet those pesky nerves just wouldn’t allow a full on beam. Those eyes looked to me, searched me, asked me… and I nodded my faith in her. Finally, the board was held in front of her. Her fear and her victory connected as one solid wall just waiting for her to break through. It was her time to choose, for fear would hinder her power. Frozen, I watched as her practice paid off and she chose the latter, victory in one swift kick. Her smile and inhale of confidence in that moment brought tears to my eyes. I would have cheered for as long as it took, for as many chances that she needed. I was proud of her, and would have been proud of her no matter the outcome. She WAS her best.
I realized that there are things in my life that have me hesitating. I often question Am I doing it right? Is this the best choice? What will happen? I don’t give myself the same confidence and encouragement that I gave her. When was the last time we told ourselves, “Just do your best, no matter the outcome, I’ll be proud of you.”? When was the last time we cheered ourselves on and knew we would be happy or better just for trying. Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to be harder on myself than anyone else could be. I don’t always break through that wall in front of me because there are too many times I’ve chosen the former and allowed fear, be it of failure or the unknown, to hinder my power to break through. I want to live by the courage and grace I give my children, I want to encourage my own self to get up, get out there and do my best. I want to start each day deciding the BE the best version of myself. I want to allow myself the grace to fail and fall, to try and try again, because I have people cheering in my corner for as long as it takes… even it it’s just me being the cheer-er.I made this background for my laptop and my phone this month as a reminder to myself to be my best, it’s part of my own cheer section, and I thought I’d share it with you as well.
Whatever you’re facing, whatever it is that you want to do… start! I believe in you, I’ll be part of your cheer team. Take your steps, even if they are small right now, and get out there on the mat. You may be looking at those who are already doing and your eyes are searching and asking “Can I do that? Do I have it in me?” I’m nodding my head right now, YES you can! I’m nodding my faith in you. If we never step out there, we’ll never realize the potential we hold… we’ll allow fear to stay connected to our victory and bring us down. So, step up friend, together we can be our very best, and no matter how many times we may stumble and fall, we can break through. Mostly likely, more times than not, we’ll break through to victory on our first kick.
Dress your desktop along with me, or you can email the file to your phone and set the image as your background or lock screen (that’s what I did!). Just click to download below.