Monday, October 10, 2011

Conditioned Thinking vs. Freedom



1. existing under or subject to conditions.
2. characterized by a predictable or consistent pattern of behavior or thought as a result of having been subjected to certain circumstances or conditions.
3. Psychology . proceeding from or dependent on a conditioning of the individual; learned; acquired: conditioned behavior patterns.


1. rational; reasoning: People are thinking animals.
2. thoughtful; reflective: Any thinking person would reject that plan.

I struggle daily with discovering my authentic self.
Darling Daughter IS her authentic self.
She is creative, caring, generous, gentle.
She is fearless with her self-expression.
What an example.
What a teacher!

She creates and often...
it is hard for Husband and I
to allow her freedom of expression.
"Why?" you may ask, "would you ever STOP
her from freely expressing herself?"
Conditioned Thinking
We were taught there is a right and a wrong way 'to be'.
There is an acceptable and an inappropriate way 'to be'.
We were taught to fear judgment.
We were taught to fit in.
We were taught embarrassment, limits, conformity.
Our struggle to allow her to express herself freely
is an internal struggle. We do NOT halt her creativity
nor do we stop her from expressing that creativity
(unless of course, there would be some REAL danger,
not the man-made, fear monger, judgment danger).
She's young. I want to support her freedom.
I want to support her amazing creative mind.
She has no fear and no worry of judgment.
I could put it in her head, but why?
If someone doesn't like what she creates it doesn't seem to phase her. If I try to nudge her toward a different way, she takes or leaves my opinion, so why should I push?
You may disagree with my way of parenting.
You may worry she will be hurt by others (words/judgments).
I say, "so what?".
I fret and worry and conform and use my conditioned thinking to care about what others think entirely too much
and I am hurt all the time FOR it.
If she hears negative comments, who doesn't?
Everyone deals with negativity in life.
There are so many Negative Nellies out there
just dying to give their opinion.
Why let them win?
No. I will let her be.
She is an artist. She is a free spirit. She is creative.
She is my teacher.
I am learning from her. I am learning freedom of expression.
I am learning sheer joy and happiness.
I am learning how to "be" me
by watching the master.
Don't worry. I will always protect her from harm.
I would never let her do anything that was
genuinely dangerous or absurd.
Darling Daughter decided she wanted to create an outfit. I told her I would sign us up for a class as I have zero sewing experience (minus the attempted pillow case or straight curtain). She had her own idea in mind (pattern and all). We went in the basement and sought out some fabric. Why I have fabric when I don't know how to sew? Because I LOVE fabric and hope to someday learn. So down we went. She found some suitable flannel. I ironed it and she went to work. First with a skirt. She hand sewed the sides and I stitched them over with the machine (her request). I folded the hem in the bottom and sewed. We sewed a big hem(?) on the top for a ribbon waist. We figured that if we had a square skirt and pulled it in at the waist, perhaps it would look skirt-like. Guess what? I forgot to leave holes for the ribbon! We cut holes and found an appropriate ribbon in my ribbon stash. She insisted on a shirt to make it "dress-like". I begged her to wait for a class as I have NO CLUE how to sew a shirt. She said She knew what to do! She cut two holes for arms. I then saw her vision as she wrapped it around herself so I helped her lay it out, make the holes uniform and cut the edges so they were all straight and even. She proceeded to go back to my ribbon stash and cut an appropriate length pink ribbon to tie the shirt on. Little did I know she had plans to wear it to school today!!!! Yikes!!! I told her that probably wasn't a good idea in case it didn't hold together. "That's okay," she said. "I'll wear a shirt and shorts underneath in case I need to take it off." She was dead set on wearing it. I had to admit it was a little a lot adorable. What was I to do? She was dead set on wearing it and Oh So Proud of her creation. She had back-up clothes. It wasn't a nightmare outfit (or I would have drawn the line - I'm not a heartless monster you know!) So... off to school she went this morning in her handmade outfit. My little fashion designer. Cute, eh?
skirt (obviously)
(skirt + top = complete ensemble   *    notice the added matching cloth choker)
(back of outfit with cloth choker draping)
(every outfit must be tested with a twirl!)


beth said...

i love her creativity and fearlessness.....something that as adults is so hard to get back if we lost it somewhere along the way while we were growing up and trying to fit in....

damn peer pressure and boys who point fingers and make fun of girls :(

Anonymous said...

oh that outfit is adorable! she is one very creative little lady :)

Robin said...

OOOOH!! I am so excited that you let her wear it to school!! I know how we fear someone hurting our kids with negative comments (because we were all hurt ourselves at some point and that pain is never forgotten) but what if....just maybe.....someone tells her it's beautiful!!! Asks her where she got it!!! Wants to have one of their own!!! Oooohhh, the possibilities!!!! I LOVE the kind of parent you are!!!! And your daughter is adorable!!!

John said...

What a great post, I loved it. We are taught fear from an early age and it effects everything we do. It takes a rare person to break the cycle, so well done to Mom and daughter (she hasn't posted for a while?). Great phtographs and what a designer!

Jan said...

Wow! I am truly impressed with her creation and her attitude! Also impressed with your attitude and ability to allow your girl to be herself, not instill fear into her, not to pass your own fears onto her. I have no doubt she will be admired for this outfit. Although who knows, there are people out there who would be jealous of her creativity and might put it down to make themselves feel better. But she has a great support system in you and in her family it sounds like. She sounds very strong, she'll weather any negativity with her inner strength. Thanks for sharing this story.

roseisrose said...

what a great post! she's awesome!!

Elena said...

She looks beautiful! What a beautiful mind and creative soul and you rock Mom.

Jess said...

Totally impressive. Way to let her fly Mama! :)

Glenn Stenson said...

Condition her to think freely and let her roar. What a great, creative kid and what a super Mom.

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