She’s so much more than I expected. She’s so much wittier, more captivating, endearing, adorable and unique than I could have ever imagined. And so whenever I’m away from her and I pause to think about all her magic, I sometimes feel like she’s a dream. Like she’s not my baby. Like this is not my life I’m living.
I got used to learning lessons from struggle. In many ways I am who I am today because I like to think about prior struggles, study them, learn from them, share them.
Of course there are struggles… sleep deprivation, what seems like an endless amount of chores, and, with balancing a full-time job, overall lack of any time for myself being major ones. Did I mention sleep deprivation? I now understand why that is a torture technique…
But as far as she goes, all I can see is the beauty in her little being. The blessing.
I’ve never been so deeply in love with both the perfections and imperfections of someone before. I’ve never given my deepest levels of strength and vulnerability to anyone so simultaneously. I am mercilessly wrapped around every little part of her soul and yet she is healing and strengthening every little part of mine.
So how can this be? What do you do when life gives you way more than you ever asked for, way more than you ever thought to want? What do you learn? Do you even deserve this?
I’ve believed for so many years that we’re all here to learn hard tragic lessons about life and then heal. And that it’s through the tragedy and the healing that we elevate our souls. I spent a long time believing that life is supposed to be and always will be, hard. And sad. And lonely. And a struggle.
In the past, I never stopped to think about how life has the potential to just dump love all over you. To give so abundantly and ask for nothing back.
The other night I found an old diary from high school. I bravely opened it to read a few pages. I couldn’t believe the words on the page… the sadness and anger I used to feel towards life.
I wanted to reach through the pages and give that girl a hug. And tell her, that if you work on things, if you challenge your perspectives, if you believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who lift you up, if you own who you are and honor what you need to thrive, you can fill your life with magic.
Magic of your own making. Magic of your own definitions.
In reading those pages I realized I could view my life through that old perspective now if I chose to. I could lose myself in all the things that are so very hard and overwhelming. I could even go back to allowing things into my life that do not serve me, to perpetuate problems and patterns that harm me. And I wonder what life would look like now if I did. Would I be married to such a gentle-man? Would I love my daughter in the same way?
Being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is hard. Paying law school loans is hard. Living in New York can be hard. And so many other things. There are times when it all gets the best of me, of course.
But when I lose myself in those moments, I work hard to get myself back on track. Back to gratitude. Back to magic. Once I decided that that would be my track, I am always looking for it when it’s out of sight, always inching my way back towards it and moving things out of its way.
What I’ve been finding is that when you immerse yourself in gratitude, life gives back to you in unexpected ways. Life brings you the people, the rewards, the courtesies, the mentors, the gifts you never would have known to ask for.
My daughter’s not magical because she’s perfect. And I know our relationship won’t be perfect. But the one thing I’ll never demand from her is perfection.
I decided that my daughter would be magical on the day she was born. And it was that decision, that commitment to that feeling, that has made every moment since feel just that way. And carrying that same sense of gratitude towards other areas of life, is creating similar results.
It’s so hard to give a gift to someone who never likes anything you get them. It’s so much more fun to buy a gift when you know it will be received with joy and appreciation and love.
I’m finding that life is just that way. When you believe in the magic of life and live in the gratitude of all the blessings around you (while also honoring and protecting your needs), life wants to give back to you, reward you with its gifts more and more.
My daughter makes every today the best day of my life.
I decided that that’s what she would do. And so it is.
What magic do you have in your life right now?
And, happy birthday, my sweet girl.
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