“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it”- Mark Twain
One of my favorite cartoons shows a picture of a huge auditorium. The banner across the stage reads “Welcome Adult Children of Functional Families”. In the audience are only two people!
We’ve heard a lot about dysfunction in families – so much so that we have come to the conclusion that we have been robbed of a “normal, happy’ childhood”, and thus have excuses for our behaviors because of that early deprivation. Get real. Mom and Dad were not the perfect parents…and you were not the perfect child. The good news is that it’s never too late to give to yourself whatever has been lacking.
You are in charge of your life now. You cannot blame the past or anyone in the past for what you are doing today. Even if you come up with a very convincing argument, how does it make your life better? Blaming the past is like blaming gravity when you drop a glass and it breaks. It’s true that without gravity the glass would not have fallen. But you live on earth and you know about gravity. Your childhood is like gravity. It was what it was. Today is like a glass. Treat it with respect and care. If it breaks, it’s no one’s fault. Clean up the mess and get another glass from the cupboard. Each day is a new beginning.
In celebration of Moms present and past – and all of those women who have been motherly toward us – let’s identify the very best qualities of our feminine side. If these have been part of your upbringing or present experiences – rejoice!! If they are what you always wanted, but never received – now is the time to give to yourself through gentle words and actions. Consider how you are expressing these qualities to yourself and to others in your life.
WARMTH – How do you welcome a newcomer? How do you talk to yourself in new situations?
COMPASSION – Do you forgive? Forgive and forget? Forgive and remember? Never forgive?
How you forgive yourself is reflected in how you judge and criticize others.
PATIENCE – Check out your expectations. Are they realistic? What would life be like if you suspended expectations and just enjoyed the present moment?
WISDOM – The more mistakes you have made and the more varied your life’s experiences have been, the more wisdom you may have.
ASSURANCE – How do you comfort yourself when dealing with something difficult? Substitute kind words of encouragement and make them your new habit.
JOY – Are you ever happy for no good reason? Try unconditional joy and watch your world come alive.
INTELLIGENCE –Follow that inner voice of your higher self that comes from deep within. A mother’s intuition is available anytime you can be quiet enough to listen.
SPONTANEITY –Plan to have no plans or rehearsed conversations. Watch the level of authenticity in yourself and others grow to new levels as you enjoy “whatever”.
STRENGTH– It is being strong to ask for help when you need it. Weak people pretend that they can master everything. Strong people say “Can you give me a hand with this?”
HUMOR-Laughter keeps all things in perspective. Get the God’s-eye view when you are tempted to overplay the drama…or give it your best shot as a soap opera star. The choice is always yours.
LOVE-The summary of all these traits translated into small actions.
Today is a great time to begin your Motherly Self-Talk!
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Life is too short to be unhappy and the answers and clarity you seek may be only a phone call or mouse click away.