So, I originally pulled up The Middle by Jimmy Eat World for my 12 year old daughter. I love the message and thought it was perfect for a middle school girl (or boy for that matter but I don’t think I could pay my son to sit through most songs that I like.) If you’re familiar with this song, you know, it’s all “be yourself” and “don’t worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.” All great stuff for a 12-year old, but what about a 40-something year old?
As I was running along feeling all proud of myself for introducing my daughter to such an uplifting message, it occurred to me that technically, I am the one who is in the middle of the ride. She’s just starting. And everything in this song is just as true for me as it is for her. And I’m betting probably for you too.
It just takes some time. Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything everything will be alright.
So that was a cool insight to realize how the words of this song apply to me just as much if not more than to my daughter. But there’s an even deeper meaning here. This one is for all the moms, dads, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who gives advice to those you love. What if you told yourself those same things you tell the ones you love the most?
Or if that’s too big a leap, what if you just started noticing every time you said something to yourself that you would NEVER say to your beloved child, or spouse, or friend, or dog? Think about it for a moment. Most of us can come up with an example from this very day when we berated ourselves for doing something stupid or being too fat or being too weird, or overreacting or under-reacting…. We’re really tough on ourselves at times.
So here’s what’s going in the manifesto: It’s time to stop beating yourself up. Just notice when you’re doing it and stop. And when you stop, try saying what you would say to the person you love most in the world instead. Personally, I like “Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything, everything will be alright.”