Not Everybody Will Like You - And That's Okay.

As a young child, I grew up knowing I have parents who love me and give everything I need and some wants.  I have brothers and cousins I use...

As a young child, I grew up knowing I have parents who love me and give everything I need and some wants.  I have brothers and cousins I used to play with.  I remember feeling secured and happy.  Until I went to school.

I still vividly recall up to this day how a classmate in Kinder teased and insulted me for not knowing what the color of the tree was.  I knew it was green, but I colored the leaves blue.  Not because I didn't know it should be green, but because I couldn't find the color green in my set of crayons.  That was the first time I felt disliked, rejected, unsafe, and insecure.

Unknowingly, it was the start of finding and shaping my identity through others' opinion and set of standards.  Call it peer pressure or pleasing others or just plain desire to be accepted and liked by people outside the family.  And I was just four years old then.

I have a morena skin and was sporting a short hair.  My classmates were mestizas and had long hairs adorned with pretty ribbons.  THEY became my standard of beauty.  So I asked my mom's help to grow my hair (used a lot of Gee! Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo thinking it would help grow my hair faster) and put the nicest ribbons.  I had always felt ugly and insecure back then.
It didn't stop there.  I was bullied by some classmates in grade school saying my name -Louise - was ugly because it sounded like a boy's name - it's often misspelled as LUIS up to this day.  I hated my name too.  When I got the ballerina part in a school play even if I didn't know how to dance it, a ballerina classmate who didn't get the part bullied me by hiding the ballet shoes I just borrowed a few minutes before the play.  I remember her face feeling satisfied for making me cry and anxious about the situation.  In grade 6 I danced and started to sing too but I was told by some that my moves were stiff and my voice were terrible.  A lot other similar events happened in high school and in college too, but I want to focus on my childhood experiences.

Looking back, and now that I am a mom myself, I realized how important it is to fill the LOVE TANK of our kids at home so that when they go out there in the wild (the unsure, the unknown, the critics, and the unforgiving real world) they are sure of themselves, they know they are loved, they know they are pretty or handsome, they know they are kind, talented, smart, they know they are enough being themselves because he/she is unique, and that he/she is fearfully and wonderfully created by God.

I used to blame my parents, especially my mom, for not making me feel beautiful or not doing everything she can to protect me, especially I am the only daughter, the only rose among thorns.  But now that I've come to know Jesus and that I've become older and a lot wiser through God's grace, everything was clearer to me - and I don't blame anyone at all.

NOT EVERYBODY WILL LIKE YOU - And that's okay.  That's what I have come to realize and this is what I also want to teach my children.  I know God's purpose for my resignation is to prioritize my ministry which is my family - my children.  He gave me a chance to correct my mistakes, make up for lost times and opportunities to show and tell them how much they are loved, and that they are enough.

Here are some things in my heart to teach and tell my boys:
To my teenager:
  • You are good looking and those pimples will eventually go away. 
  • You are making big progress in your basketball skills and that's something to be proud of.
  • It's okay not to have a girlfriend or an MU even if your peers are already into a relationship.
  • Never let clothes, new phone, new shoes or any material things define you.
  • It's okay to not have too many friends.
  • You are a responsible child and a good brother, keep it up.
  • You have been very helpful to us, thank you.
  • You are loved by us.  But God loves you the most.
To my grade-schooler...
  • You are making progress in socializing with other kids in Sunday school, keep it up.
  • You have a big and wild imagination, keep on creating things.
  • You have an exceptional drawing skills for your age.
  • You are so different from your Kuya, but we love you just the same, like how we also love your baby brother.
  • You have a big, kind, and compassionate heart.
  • It's okay to not be like others, because you are special, you are unique in your own way.
  • You are loved by us.  But God loves you the most.
To my toddler...
  • You bring joy to our family, you are like a glue which makes us all stick together.
  • You are a good entertainer and you amaze us each day.
  • Your learning skills in speech is so cute, you will learn to talk eventually.  Know that whatever you say, we understand you, your needs and wants.
  • You have an exceptional driving and running skills.
  • Your imagination this early is wild, keep on exercising your mind.
  • You are the only one who exclusively breastfeeds from Mommy.
  • You are loved by us.  But God loves you the most.
MY CHILDREN - the world will have many expectations from you.  Expectations to keep up with the latest fashion and even gadget trends. Expectations to like what they like such as music artists, games to play or cartoon characters.  Expectations to have a girlfriend or a crush at a young age and engage in things (worse, vices) not appropriate for your ages.  Expectations to be cool or popular or stand out but not by doing what is good but what is different and harmful or hurtful to other people.

Mga anak, you don't need to meet those expectations.  You don't need to say, do, act, or have things just to be LIKED or to be popular.  Because honestly, you don't really have to make an effort to meet expectations just to be liked.  The fact is, not everybody will like you, and be rest assured, that is okay.

In our eyes, in our thoughts, in our hearts - YOU ARE ALL ENOUGH, and YOU ARE ALL LOVED.  We appreciate your presence in our lives.  We are thankful to God for bringing us such wonderful gifts that we don't deserve.  We are proud of who you all are.  We also acknowledge that no child is perfect and that's why we accept and love you just as you all are.  BUT as imperfect parents, it's our duty to raise up God-loving young men who will start their own families in the future and lead their children through their examples.  May we be able to show and teach you those examples well, through God's grace, even if we are imperfect parents to all of you.

But you know who accepts and not only likes but loves you the most?  God.  And He is enough.  Remember, not everybody will like you - and that is OKAY.

~"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; 
my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14  ~

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
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