“It’s not about you.” That is one phrase that I have been using with my kids forever. It covers such a broad spectrum of situations!
My oldest daughter attended a Christian school in Kindergarten. This was before I started home-schooling her in the first grade. She would come home from school telling me about this one little girl who was mean to her on the playground. As a mom, you know how that makes us feel…like marching down to that school and giving that little runt what-for….I wanted to string her up by her pigtails! How dare she treat my little girl like that! Breathe, Mom, breathe. As we all know, that would be bad. So, I decided to take a different approach with my girls. I looked at daughter and simply said”It’s not about you.”
She looked at me like I was crazy, at first, but then I explained. “That little girl must feel so bad about herself that she needs to pick on you to make herself feel like a big shot…she must be having a really bad day. If she’s ever mean to you again, remember, it’s not you. She’s only being mean to you to make herself feel better. You are not responsible for her bad behavior, so let go of it…walk away. It’s not about you.”
After that, she would come home and say, “Wow Mom, that little girl was having a really bad day today.” Instead of feeling sad and worthless, my daughter put on a mindset of compassion.
The beautiful thing about this was that I was able to teach my girls how to have grace for others in these situations. I taught them how to detach from feeling worthless and instead, be empowered. It’s not about them. Just like it’s not about us when that lady in the grocery store rolls her eyes because the cashier needed to get a price check on one of our items…you know the one, Little Miss No-patience? She, too, must be having a really hard day.
‘It’s not about you’ also comes in real handy to avoid a selfish mindset. The younger generation is a ‘me’ generation. What they want and what we can do for them. I refuse to raise my girls that way, or allow them to be that way. I want to raise strong, confident servants. I tell them, “This is not your wedding day…” Translation: It’s not about you. The only day in your life it’s all about you, is your wedding day, and today’s not it!
So the next time you are dealing with the rude lady at the bank, or the mom who consistently brags that her kid is better at soccer, it’s not about you. When your kids are at a birthday party and looking longingly at all the birthday presents for someone else, remind them…..”It’s not about you.”
It took me almost 30 years to get this revelation, but if our kids can get it now, what an awesome generation of selfless, healthy-minded children we will produce. Let’s do this thing!