Loving Our Kids Takes Courage and Vulnerability

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Kaboom Pics

“We cannot opt out of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure that’s woven through our daily experiences. Life is vulnerable… These are the challenges of being alive, of being in a relationship, of being connected.” – Brene Brown

When our babies come to us after hours of excruciating pain, we immediately pronounce them as perfect – those symmetrical faces, joyous smiles and spontaneous squeals of delight bring boundless joy. Then, little by little, as the pint-sized stage, peppered with milestones, fades, we notice imperfections; once cute gestures are annoying, and we long for simpler days. I know I do, especially when Nai is consumed by a tantrum, and my patience is frayed.

All I want in that moment, Mamas, is perfection – instant calm and compliance. So unrealistic, and yet I crave the easier, predictable path. You know, like in a nanosecond, she will simply “get” how to control her emotions. Ludicrous, right?

But in this era of social media, where nearly everyone’s smiling at us through filtered photos, it’s hard to face anything remotely perceived as imperfection in ourselves, let alone our children. The reality, though, is our kids are mirrors, through their struggles and imperfections we see ourselves.

This is the vulnerability and courage of authentic love, it calls us to accept the range of humanity – the beauty of light and hope, and the struggle of impatience, anger, aggression, and selfishness. Each challenge we face, as parents, changes us and our children in profound ways. Gradually, I am learning to surrender to gentleness, and stop harsh self-criticism. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Day by day.

The other morning, while reading through my daily devotional, How Deep A Mother’s Love…. A Mother’s Journey, I stumbled across a scripture passage (Isiah 43:18-19) which so deeply connects to this season of my life: “Do not remember past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the dessert.”

Love, I am learning, is not a place of rest and complacency, but of trust and conscious bravery.  And, you know what, it grows not during times of ease or comfort, but struggle – those moments when your child is melting down in the mall, and somehow, you find the empathy to talk through it, or with a little one who faces daily physical, emotional or learning challenges.

When loving in these ways, you come to understand the core of love – no illusions, expectations, or prerequisites (e.g. if you present this way, I will love you).

You simply see with your heart.

Five Instagram Pages That Will Inspire You!

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
I came to the Instagram game a little late, but now it’s my favorite social media platform. People actually read the posts (at least the kinds of accounts I follow), and the interactions here feel authentic and genuine, no digital overload, i.e. Twitter.

Nope, Instagram or IG as we like to say (insert smile here), just flows without effort.  I believe the energy we project out into the world returns to us.  It’s one of the reasons I am so drawn to IG accounts with empowering messages. I mean how many selfies can one girl look at over and over again?  Self absorption gets old.

So every month, I’ll highlight five inspirational IG pages. Exploring the digital space is one of my past times.  It’s just like the real world in a way – lots of beauty waiting to be unearthed.

Oh, do let me know who inspires you, too, by commenting below.

@ifeelprettyinc. – Are you about your business – entrepreneur / creator / professional? You’ll definitely want to start following @ifeelprettyinc., a digital marketing and branding co. dedicated to helping the entrepreneur shine.

They bring it, everyday day. Get your morning shot of inspiration and encouragement, along with a mix of no-nonsense advice all designed to help you live more fully and awake. What more can we ask for?

@rufflesribbonsnbows – Ok, y’all, full disclosure, Chel, the owner of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique  is one of my best friends. I promise, I’m not biased (ok, maybe a little).

Seriously though, her page bursts with hope, beauty and girlish enthusiasm. She is a creator, and hand makes tutus and hair accessories for kiddos and grown ups.  Style and substance? Check! Awesome Mompreneur? Check!

@lifefuel365 – These days it feels like everyone wants to tout expertise, especially in the area of empowerment, but in actuality, not many are authentic.

Jimmy Jean is a certified personal coach, motivator and visionary who drops profound mental gems (“Old ways don’t create new seasons”), and then leans back so you can absorb it all. What he says matters and challenges your growth.

@wellreadblackgirl – In my pre-kid life, I read lots and lots of books. I am still an avid reader, but these days, being selective is the name of the game.

Enter Well-Read Black Girl, which highlights works by women of color. I either discover something new or am reminded of a favorite book I want to re-read. Great books are oxygen for the soul!

@life_love_and_lavender _blog – Mrs. Fiola writes a beautiful and honest blog about life, love and marriage. We hear lots about relationships in our culture, but not so much about the day-to-day journey. Her IG posts share the story with grace and authenticity.

Here you will find a vibrant digital gallery of personal photos, flowers, and simple yet poignant quotes from the blog such as: “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

 

Why Love Inspires Us

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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20140209-182034.jpg
The light of our souls, my daughter, Naima De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.

– James Baldwin

We’re kicking off the months at Live In Color blog with one inspirational word, a guiding light to carry us through our days, especially during those moments when all feels dismal. Isn’t this the beauty of inspiration? It empowers us to see the world with fresh eyes.

Throughout February, we celebrate love. I know. I hear you groaning! Valentine’s Day is Friday, the stores are overrun with teddy bears, chocolate candy and flowers. Our focus on love though is no ode to these superficial sentiments wrapped in commercialization.

No. It’s about increasingly moving towards an authentic love, rooted in faith, family, and self confidence. It is taking time to celebrate the enormity of subtle moments we ignore: your child tugging at you, eyes reaching for affection and reassurance, a friend’s easy laughter over lunch, or significant other’s hand falling subtly against your skin, carrying both warmth and fidelity.

Those instances when you realize life, in all of its complexity and beauty, presents you with endless possibilities to see it anew. This is love which inspires, transforms and uplifts. We hope you will join us in this ongoing journey.

Your Turn
Please do share how love guides you this month, not merely as a word, but a principle within your life.

Live In Color! – Emelda