Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Everything Shapes Us.

Today I received a package from my mom. A few days back she sent me an email letting me know that she had something she had been meaning to mail to me but now seemed like the right time. Inside my package was a beautiful print by Kelly Rae Roberts that reads "everything shapes us". Not only is the print absolutely beautiful, but so is the message on the back that shares the artist's road to finding her heart's passion and a quote from her. "My hope is that my work invokes a sense of clarity and peace inside of you as you walk your own path in life, and that it inspires you to discover you own limitlessness."

When I first opened the package and saw the beautiful woman with painted wings, she somehow reminded me of myself - dark hair and brown eyes. But the message immediately brought to mind how my mom knows that right now I am following a path that is right for me. She knows that I have been very fortunate to have experienced 41 years of experiences that have been shaping me for the changes that are happening within me right now.

As child number four out of six kids, I was surrounded by people who loved me and "shaped" me with the values I still hold dear to me today.

When Steve and I were engaged to be married we attended an Engaged Encounter. The weekend was led by two couples, one of which said something that has "shaped" my married life. They said, "Remember that you are always an example, whether you realize it or not. When others see you and your spouse together, your relationship, good or bad will affect them." I have always kept this message in the back of my mind in the way I treat my husband and I believe that message must be in his mind too because he always shows his love for me and I think it has helped "shape" others.

When Alexander was born and cried at night one night when I let the wrong books for me "shape" me into believing that he was better off in his own crib away from me than snuggled up next to me nursing, Steve reminded me to follow my heart and bring him back to bed with us. Together with that one decision our parenting style was known to us. This parenting style went on to "shape" our children into the loving, caring people they are today and also to "shape" us into more caring adults.

Today I had three teenage boys in my car. I needed to stop by Whole Foods before heading home and asked them if they wanted to stay in the car or come into the store and wait for me. They chose to wait in the car but one of the boys said, "Thanks for at least asking us." "Shaping"...letting others know we care about their opinions.

This evening Steve discussed a conversation he had at work today about homeschooling. One of the guys said something like "A girl like your daughter would be exactly the kind of girl we would look for in college." I asked Steve, "You mean because she would be a naive homeschooler?" Yes. We both giggled. Our Sophia has a good sense of people. She steers away from those that she believes will hurt her. Because she has been "shaped" to experience only good relationships with people that care for her, she chooses to stay away from those that don't have that interest in her. Naive she isn't. Smart she is.

As I read and learn about new things to heal my body I have to remember that "everything shapes us". I guess that is why I feel this need to read only those things that are leading me in the direction my heart is telling me to go. If I read outside of that, I risk "shaping" myself into something that my heart didn't intend me to be.

Our lives are full of experiences and all of those experiences shape who we are and who we become. People I meet for lasting relationships to the stranger I meet who smiles at me to the news I listen to on TV to the environment I choose to surround myself- they all help "shape" me. I feel so fortunate that I have been "shaped" into the person I am today and that I am following the path that feels right for who I am.