Would you criticize this baby?
Would you complain that his eyes are too close together, or his nose too big? Would you say you hate his fingers or the color of his hair?
First – you better not, because that little punkin’ head is my adoooorable nephew, Noah.
Second – Maybe you would judge some stranger baby. So try this: Imagine a baby in your life, past or present. Child, niece, nephew, friend, whatever.
Remember seeing them for the first time. You know that overwhelming sense of love, adoration and awe? Remember that.
Imagine their features. Their precious little eyes, the ones you squeal over when they start to blink open. You run your finger along their cute little ears, let them wrap their strong, tiny fingers around one of yours. Every last bit of that baby is a precious gift. It’s a breathtaking miracle, no matter how weird its head is shaped or how long its toes are. You don’t even think about that.
But for some reason, as adults, we do. We over-analyze and criticize our beautiful, perfectly crafted selves.
For the most part, I’m over criticizing my looks. Hopefully you are too. It’s pointless and lame.
But every so often, at least for me, Negative Nancy pops her stupid little head in and has something mean to say. This last time, it was about my ears.
I was pulling my mass of crazy hair up into an elastic, and I noticed my ears that stick out just a bit. It doesn’t bother me much anymore, but as a teen I wanted them pinned back – seriously.
I tucked the stray tendrils behind my ears and was immediately met with criticism: “Eh, but your ears kinda stick out.” I started to remove the elastic when I stopped and thought about my sweet baby nephew and his little ears.
I would never, ever judge his ears, or want him to either. Every bit of him is precious.
As I thought of this, and visualized his tiny perfection, I remembered something:
I was that precious baby once.
We all were!
At one point, our family and friends fawned over us, cooed and giggled over every adorable little feature. At one point, my momma kissed my little ears and thought they were the most precious things she’d ever seen.
Remembering this, I left my hair up. I tucked the stray curls back, and I smiled. So what if my ears aren’t flat against my head? They’re actually pretty cool – they let me hear and now there are 4 gauge Buddha posts in the lobes! (Such a rebel – sorry mom and dad.)
I write this to say:
Anytime you’re about to get mean with your darling self, remember that you were once a precious little babe. The apple of yo momma’s eye. Your eyes were sparkling and the perfect distance apart and your ears were perfect. Remember the love and adoration of your family, and know that you don’t have to go there – the criticism is pointless. Maybe your butt is a billion times bigger, but remember, your momma loved that butt. And probably has a picture of it somewhere.
I hope you love the heck outta yourself. But for those moments that you don’t, however rare, remember this trick and your precious baby self. You’re still that precious, you just have to look through a more loving lens to see it.
Peace, love and a steaming cup of Zen,