I found this quote in my mother’s journal: “Every parent, no matter how hard they try, will be both a blessing and a curse to their children. My hope is that my children will appreciate the blessing, if not immediately, then later in life, and perhaps more importantly, my hope is that they take the curse and, like an oyster irritated by a grain of sand, over time, use it as a catalyst to build layers of character and understanding—thus producing a pearl.”
I appreciate the blessings. As for the curses, the pearls take a little more time.
Here are some things I learned from my mother:
- We are meaning-making organisms. What I learned from my mother is based on my own perception – often independent of what she intended to teach me.
- Growth lies outside your comfort zone. Take risks and trust yourself in the midst of the unknown.
- Value learning. Read and study good books. Wisdom – as distinct from knowledge – is irreplaceable.
- Dive deeply into the experience of living. The deeper we dive the more beauty we find.
- Embrace uncertainty. Change and uncertainty are essential ingredients of life. By embracing uncertainty, you find security.
- Embracing grief opens the door to joy. My mother learned this through many losses in her life, including the death of two husbands and a still-born baby.
- All blame is a waste of time. Maturity doesn’t come with age. It comes with the acceptance of responsibility.
- Check your rage at the door. Acted out anger doesn’t build safety, trust, or connection.
- Don’t ask what the world can give you. Ask, instead, what you can give the world.
- Make your gratitude bigger than your circumstances.