Saturday, June 11, 2011

Acceptance and Understanding

I've always loved my mother, but during my adolescence and early adulthood I was all too often critical of her. Critical of the way she raised me, the way she spoke, acted, dressed, and basically lived. What a burden to carry. In my ignorance I blamed a lot of my life's problems on her. I was holding unforgiveness in my heart and casting much undeserved judgment on her. I was hurting her but even more so I was hurting myself. All the while she remained relatively the same.

She has always been somewhat of a non-confrontational person until you push her to her limit. She tends to keep her opinions to herself and not want to ruffle feathers. I would characterize her spirit as meek and empathetic. To the more strong personality types like me, you could call her an easy target. 

Of course my mother has her faults as we all do and I often felt the need to interject my thoughts of how she should handle situations, raise my younger brother, respond to life's challenges, etc. I always felt as though I was spinning my wheels trying to "help" her. I was wrong. You see, I was in a place of naivety; foolish as most adolescent and young adults are. I had not walked a single day in her shoes. I could go on and on about the struggles my mother has gone through and overcome. She is literally the strongest person I have ever known.

One day I made a very conscious decision. I decided to simply accept my mom for exactly who she was and where she was at in her life. I dropped ALL expectations of what type of mother she should be and what she should do for me as my mother. I was liberated! I dropped the need for her to say or do certain things for me. Shortly after I made that decision our relationship started to dramatically improve! I noticed she was more at ease around me. She wanted to be there for me in a more “motherly” way and was interested in spending time with me. It seemed as though she was liberated as well, to be herself! Around that time I became pregnant. Thank God our relationship had improved because I needed her then more than ever! Had I continued to pressure her to be and act a certain way she probably would have continued to be somewhat distant.

Mothers and daughters are closest, when daughters become mothers. ~Author Unknown. This quote is chalk full of truth! After giving birth and struggling to figure out what is the best way to raise and take care of my new bundle of joy, I got a taste of what my mother has done for me. She had three children and was a single mother. I only had one with the help of my husband, mom, sister, and mother-in-law, and at times it feels like too much to handle! I remember when I was a child and didn’t understand some of the things she said/did and she would always say, “Wait until you have your own kids and then come talk to me!” It’s funny how that was exactly what was needed to develop a new found respect for her that is on a completely different level. She deserves way more credit than I ever gave her. I “get it” now!

I love living in this place of appreciation for her to be exactly who she is! Life is good and I’m actually getting ready to go grab some sushi with her so got to run! And there’s the proof in the pudding…quality time together! This would have never been in the cards had I not learned the valuable lesson of acceptance and understanding.

Thanks for lending your ear…or in this case your eyes! I quite enjoy communicating my point of view in the words of a mother!