Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Jocelyn and I recently watched a girly movie together while the boys were off doing their thing. Jocelyn Chose “Princess Diaries.”
In it, the main character, Mia, discovers she’s a princess of a small country called Genovia. The glitch is, as a clumsy, insecure, and awkward teen, she doesn’t feel she’s princess material. Despite a beauty makeover and etiquette lessons from the queen herself, Mia doesn’t experience the inward transformation she needs. Consequently, she continues to mess up.
Of course, everything changes over time. The turning point happens right as Mia is giving her speech to abdicate and stay her clumsy, insecure self. The transformation is exactly what each of us moms goes through, whether we know it or not.
As Mia is in front of the microphone saying “I” this and “I” that, she stops mid-sentence. It becomes clear to her how many times she either says “I,” or focuses on herself in any given day. In her watershed moment, she suddenly realizes her life should be more about others, leaving “self” behind. She has a chance to affect positive change in the lives of the people in her small country. She realizes she’d be crazy to give that opportunity up.
Not only was the correlation to motherhood evident to me, but I started to understand why I’d been in a slump for the past few weeks. The more down I felt, the more I focused on me. “I” this and “I” that made its way back into my daily conversation and thought process. The more self-focused I got, the smaller and unhappier my world became.
Bottom line is: There is no “I” in motherhood. That isn’t to say we should sacrifice ourselves and not focus on self-care. It does mean, however, that our self-care shouldn’t become obsessive or selfish. It should be to refill our tank so we can fulfill a greater purpose.
We may not be princesses of a small country, but as mothers, we are queens of the kingdom of our families. If our perspective and motivation are more about effecting positive change for our little “subjects,” we rule with wisdom, love, patience, and grace.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I rule my kingdom with “I” this and “I” that?
* What positive change do I want to make in this world through my motherhood?