People always tell you children change your life. However, you never really comprehend the deep capacity to which they do.
They bring deep morals, purpose, and lessons to our stories that we often don’t see until later, as well as day-to-day things that change, like the way you think, your friend circles, and your daily routine and the way you do things. Your hormones and your body change, too.
When I had my daughter, I suffered from postnatal depression that lead to an attempt on my life. You see, my life had not only changed because I had to take care of myself but I had to now be responsible for another human in the the midst of my own darkness. I could no longer avoid that darkness or choose a poor habit to cover it. I had to heal and quickly learn the lessons darkness was teaching me so I could be there to raise her.
I subconsciously saw the darkness had a purpose. However, taking care of another person is huge. Why? Because as children, we grow up thinking that when we get to adulthood, we’ll know what we need to do and we’ll have all the answers. But when we become adults, the challenges don’t just have the answers; we still wing half the stuff we did, and we are the only person who can do it for ourselves now. We no longer have a safety net like our parents to do it for us, so the increasing pressures of life can become overwhelming.
You see, one of the key things about changing your life, working with mental and physical health is self-discipline.
Self-discipline is such a difficult subject for many. For me, it is connected to self-love, and the two together are central to bringing meaningful change. You see, sometimes the challenge with self-discipline is that we are never taught about self-love in a world that continually reminds us we are not enough, so it is hard to hold on to it when they are interconnected. We often feel like failures, never achieving our goals when it is so much more complex than the simple fact of whether we could or couldn’t accomplish them.
My daughter reminded me of a powerful link that I missed for a long time to achieve meaningful change. It was my purpose, my “why” that was needed, too. Without purpose or our “why,” when things get tough, and they inevitably will, we will not have a reason to keep pursing whatever it is we are doing to create meaningful change in our lives that will keep us focused and remind us that it is worth it.
When we commit to ourselves, we commit to any change we want. But sometimes, committing to ourselves means we need to shift our focus to something that matters even more or makes our heart come alive. That way, we see the value in ourselves and how our commitment also helps those around us.
It was not until I hit rock bottom that I realised that nobody could save me but myself. I also realised I was connected to the bigger picture.
Who would care for my daughter and fight for her if I did not?
Who would show her that you can overcome challenges and work on yourself to beat the odds if I did not?
So, my “why” became my purpose—and that was my daughter.
It showed me the bigger picture and what it really meant to work on myself, and in turn taught me self-discipline and self-love.
If this concept is difficult for some of you like it was for me, remember that our “why” or a purpose outside ourselves can help us discover the meaningful changes we wish for but struggled to create. It can help us see we are not failures and we can do more than we ever thought was possible.
Sometimes to look inward and create meaningful change, we must look at the bigger picture in life and see how we fit in it and what our meaningful change not only means to us but to others around us.
It helps us see how when when we work on ourselves, we can also help those and the world we love create better tomorrows, but we do not have to hold all the answers or love ourselves fully to do it either. We can continue to be a work in progress and anytime is good time to start.
When people ask us what we like/love about ourselves, it can be hard to say. But when we see how we help others in our lives and the world around us, we start to see our value, what we love about ourselves, and, in turn, our self discipline and-self love can grow.
Without my daughter, my “why,” and my purpose, I would have never fully made some of theses meaningful changes. I would have never seen my value or understood that it is okay to not be okay, not to love myself and have it all together, and to accept that I can still create meaningful changes. Our children teach us lessons that are never straightforward. They come with challenges, adversity, growing pains, past baggage, but they also come with the ability to do things that we never knew were possible.
Not everyone’s purpose or “why” will be children, but this lesson for me would have never been learnt without my daughter.
She placed value into my world in ways that became my teacher for creating meaningful changes, without it always being about my failing, but rather about learning how to be a better human being. And about finding that self-discipline comes hand in hand with self-love through finding our purpose and our “why.”