I credit my father for teaching me most of the useful things I know.
When I was young he (patiently) taught me to throw a baseball, drive a golf ball, ride a bike and be nice to others. As I grew up, his teachings expanded. They ranged from understanding the value of hard work to the appreciation of great music to handling money to tricks to understanding my calculus homework to humility to appreciating life.
Until very recently, I did not consciously connect the importance his most valuable lesson had on making me who I am today.
Whenever I got down on myself (and this happened quite a bit when I was younger, for whatever reason) rather than letting me beat myself up or get upset my Dad would act quickly. He would take me to the closest mirror and adjust my posture straighter.
As he stood next to me, he would kindly say, “Look into the mirror and repeat after me…I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”
With the repetition of this act, I internalized this idea of loving myself no matter what. He built up my self-esteem and worked hard to maintain it. I do not think I would have grown up to love and be confident in the person I have become if he had not engrained this message into my brain.
So Daddio, I am sorry for those nasty teenage years when I rolled my eyes into the back of my head obnoxiously when you told me to love myself. Now that I have realized the importance of that lesson, I appreciate it each and every day.
Thank you for showing me that I could love me.
I love you. Happy Fathers day to the greatest, most generous, loving and genuinely cheerful father I know.
Hayley studied journalism, politics and international media at the University of Colorado—Boulder. In between juggling school and various jobs, she makes time to snowboard, travel, write and craft. She surrounds herself with people that motivate and embrace her as she strives to make a difference in anyway she can. Follow her on twitter.