Remembering a lesson learned – Be Yourself!
In my first book, The Gospel According to Mamma, lesson 20 is “Be yourself.” I wrote about my step-dad who is actually step-dad number three and my current step-dad. I praise him for being “one of those fortunate grown-ups who has managed to hold on to his childlikeness.” For example: “When he is in church and inspired by a soloist performance, he lets out a resounding “Amen!” It doesn’t matter that his is the only voice heard. He follows his heart. No one is a stranger to him. Everywhere he goes – restaurants, grocery stores, church – he speaks to anyone who will listen. And he hums constantly!”
Step-dad number three is in the hospital for the second time this year. This time around he had surgery and is currently in the ICU. I think perhaps what has disturbed me most about his health struggles in the past few weeks was there have been no hums. (Actually his hums are more like “do-dahs.”) No “do-dahs” had me very concerned!
Both my mamma and step-dad are comfortable in their own skin and never worry about what others think of them. I’ve often longed for their self-comfort so I could also not worry about what others might think about what I had to say or what I did. My worries have often kept me from being true to myself – from following my dreams, going after a goal, sharing my opinion, or from dancing at a community concert when I really, really wanted to get up and dance.
With my sweet mamma and step-daddy as role models, I’ve been learning how to recapture the unbridled freedom I had in my early childhood. And I’ve been learning how to be my genuine self – the kind of self that children innately know how to be.
As I wrote in my book, “Mamma says God created us childlike – full of wonder, in a state of perpetual discovery, curious, compelled by fascination, satisfied by simple joys, spontaneous, trusting, obedient, confident, expectant, innocent, eager to learn, with a humble spirit, forgiving, ready to explore and investigate, filled with the spirit of adventure, unconditionally loving. She says people sometimes accept other traits and opinions about themselves that aren’t part of their nature as a child of God. We stop remembering our childlike self. But to be childlike is what we truly are. My mamma says we need only be willing to rediscover this self.”
I’ve been giving my mamma’s words of wisdom a daily “Amen!” as I endeavor to follow.
I’m also happy to report that my dear step-daddy let out a couple of “do-dahs” during my visit yesterday. He also joked with his nurse saying, “I don’t have my wallet,” when she brought his dinner tray, so “No tip!” And his legs and feet would not stop moving. When asked about them, he declared, “I’m dancing!” Now I’m convinced he is on the road to recovery. His childlikeness has saved him!