The Greatest Gift of All

01 Nov

I believe children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

The lyrics say learning to love yourself is the greatest gift of all.  This is one of the songs that defined the meteoric rise of Whitney Houston.  It touches several emotional chords.

As a mother and teacher, I know how important it is to build young people’s self-esteem, but learning to love yourself… is a huge undertaking.

Ask yourself this question.  Do we really love ourselves, warts and all?

Speaking as an average woman, I think not.  We pick ourselves apart.  Here’s an example.  Hair.  It can be too long, too short, too thick, too thin, too curly, too kinky, too straight…  You get the idea.  That’s just hair, let’s not even address body issues.

No one can rip you apart better than yourself.  It’s what we do.

I have been me for a long time.

I like me.

I like spending time with me.

I like me as a person.

You can say I’m a close and personal friend of myself.

I do have things I would like to change.

I tend to procrastinate.

I don’t like to e-mail.

I don’t tweet.

I worry.

I’m obese, not chunky, obese.

If I was perfect, you’d hate me.  Isn’t that what we’ve learned about creating characters?  A perfect person is boring.  You don’t relate to them because it’s hard to like someone who never makes a misstep.

I want children to see how smart, funny and just how wonderful they are.  It’s something I’ve spent years doing.  We mess up.  What are we going to do to get back on track?

Embrace what makes you, you.

Embrace the quirks that make you unforgettable.

Learning to love yourself is the greatest journey of all.

Who has helped you appreciate all those aspects that make you, you?  What story do you have to share about that experience?


Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Idaho


13 responses to “The Greatest Gift of All

  1. Meredith Conner

    November 1, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Just yesterday Lynn, I wrote a Halloween poem for my blog. I read it to my 4th grader. She loved it and wanted to bring it to school to share. The school is having their book fair right now and yesterday I worked a 2 hour shift. Both the principal and the secretary came up to me and told me they really enjoyed my poem. I had thought my daughter was going to read it just to her teacher. The secretary smiled at me and said “Abbie is so proud of your writing.” I had to walk away before I started to cry. I am proud of my writing, but I hadn’t realized my daughter was. It made me appreciate that part of me all that much more.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 1, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Oh, Meredith, that’s a sweet story.

  2. Janis McCurry

    November 1, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Okay. Here is my story. When I was 10-ish, a faraway cousin came to visit. It was so fun playing with her and my older sister. When time came for the cousin to leave, pictures were being taken. The cousin wanted a picture of her and my older sister only. I had to step away. I was crushed and went away to cry. My dad came to where I sat on a dock at our cabin and started to comfort me. He said, “You just ooze personality. All our family friends just love you.” Now, bear in mind, I was ten. I said, “They’re old. Why don’t people my age like me?” (My older sister has always been beautiful, smart, and spirited). He hugged me and said, “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.” I can’t say I was comforted by his words, but he was my dad. I knew he thought I was worth it.

    My boss at the university validated my worth a million times over. It was through him I decided never to “settle” again. I’ll never forget him.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 1, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      Janis, your cousin just didn’t appreciate your sparkling personality. You dad knew what he was talking about.

  3. marsharwest

    November 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Great post, Lynn. Some of that acceptance comes with age and experience. None of us is perfect (though I’d like to think I am.–not weight wise, of course–I certainly know it all and could run the world if someone would just let me. LOL) One of my strengths is I have a critical eye and can see how to make things better. One of my weaknesses is I have a critical eye and see how to make things better. Of course, that’s in my opinion. I work at saying in response to something someone says I think is STUPID, “Oh, that’s interesting.” I’m definitely a work in progress, hopefully will be until the day I die.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 1, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      Marsha, we’re all works in progress. As writers, we’ve learned that our character’s greatest strength is also their greatest weakness. “That’s interesting” is good.

  4. maryvine

    November 1, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    My supervisor says I’m amazing and I appreciate that she appreciates my work. Other than that, my cat thinks I’m pretty amazing, too. What a great blog post Lynn. I would have liked nothing better than to have you taught my boys when they were young.

  5. Judith Keim

    November 1, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Wonderful post, Lynn. In today’s world there are very few, if any, women who feel good about their looks, size and other physical attributes. That’s pounded into us by television, magazines and other media. It’s sad in a way but in another makes us think about our worth in another way. For me, I’ve had supporters along the way who’ve helped me see that being an identical twin doesn’t mean that I’m not unique. For better or worse, I know that I am my own person and I like that a lot.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      Judith, liking yourself is so important. You take you with you everywhere you go.

  6. stephanieberget

    November 1, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Thanks Lynn. I’ve had many people who have praised me or my work through the years. It took a long time before I believed them. Age makes many things clearer.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 1, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      Steph, you’re right. Age has a way of allowing you to see those imperfections in a different light. Maybe, it’s fading vision.

  7. Peggy Staggs

    November 2, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    It took a long time, but I’m pretty comfortable in my skin. Now if I could just decide what I want to be when I grow up…


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