This post has been brewing in the back of my head since before my daughter was born. Sometimes people walk into your life and create what at first seems like a subtle ripple in the waters of your life, and only when you look back do you see that what started as a ripple, actually became a tidal wave. A tidal wave of acceptance, warmth, humor, and love; a wave that picked you off your feet along the way and swept all those tangled weeds of self-doubt away with the tides and leaves you feeling whole.
When we were expecting our daughter, my husband and I began what became a lengthy discussion as to who we wanted to be our daughter’s godparents. The role of a godparent was extremely important to me, because I am who I am in no small part thanks to the role of my godmother and godfather. My godfather passed away when I was very young, but to this day I remember his humor, patience, and kindness. My godmother was a constant presence in my childhood. She was patient, kind, and unafraid of questioning my sheer determination on every front, even in my rebellious teens. Her compassionately-spoken word, even if it was correcting an erroneous belief or behavior, somehow checked me and made me think about the person I wanted to be, and how my words and actions were interpreted. We didn’t always agree, but she made me think about my beliefs, and made sure that my passions were well-founded. Was she perfect? No, but she was still our saint. She was my mother’s closest friend, and a soul-sister if she ever had one.
So, when choosing our the godparents for our daughter, my standards were pretty high, but we were both very realistic and treated this matter very carefully. In many respects, we are lucky. We have a wonderful group of intelligent, loving, caring friends, but this only made the choice more difficult. In the end, our choice was perfect. We chose two people who embody the following statement to the fullest:
even when you don’t see it yourself.” -Edmund Lee
One has been like a brother to me for nearly 16 years, and the other has been like a sister since I first started training at martial arts. And something I noticed about these two folks in particular – by being around them, I was becoming a better person.
These two have been more than a safety net – they have been an anchor. When you feel like you might get lost at sea, it is so helpful to have those friends who will tell you the truth, and will also give you the mirror so you can see for yourself that your world isn’t as dark as it seemed.
So, remember, when you’re looking at the people you hold close, the people you spend the most time with, ask yourself – do they see the greatness within you? Are you able to be unapologetically YOU around them? If not, find those people who are the dreamers and the doers around you – they’re the ones who make you feel good about yourself because they are simply good to the core.
Those people are the people you want in your life. More than that, they’re the people you want in your children’s lives.