I just finished Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. It was fantastic. It was one of those books where you say to yourself, over and over, while you’re reading, “Oh, I’m definitely reading this again.”
In the book, Ms. Brown talks about the best piece of parenting advice she ever received. It was May of 2000, and Toni Morrison was on Oprah discussing her book The Bluest Eye.
I’ll let her take it from there:
Oprah said, “Toni says a beautiful thing about the messages that we get about who we are when a child first walks into a room,” and she asked Ms. Morrison to talk about it.
Ms. Morrison explained that it’s interesting to watch what happens when a child walks into a room. She asked, “Does your face light up?” She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. . . . You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?” Her advice was simple, but paradigm- shifting for me. She said, “Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”
One of my goals–my fuzzy goal–for 2013 is to cultivate a warmer atmosphere in my home. So much of that begins with me. And so much of that begins with the look on my face.
This week, I’m paying attention to what it’s saying.
(If you haven’t read Daring Greatly, you need to go read it. Twice.)
Does your face usually speak what’s in your heart? Or something else?
Books mentioned in this post: