As we grow older, we tend to understand our parents more, especially our moms. We’ve all heard, ‘It’s because I said so’ or ‘Your mother knows best’ and for many of us, it turns out to be the best advice we ever got. Since it’s Mother’s Day, I wanted to share some of the best lessons my mother has ever given me. While Mother’s Day isn’t easy for everyone, my mom, Linda, truly is willing to be a mother to anyone she meets and I hope her motherly advice can help guide you the way it guided me.
“To thine own self be true”
When I think of my mom, I think of this quote. She wrote it to me in letters and repeated it whenever I was in doubt or fearful. While I was in my early double digits, I nodded along and didn’t really understand the depth of this Shakespeare quote. Today, I find this quote is my foundation in times of trouble, indecisiveness, or feeling lost. Being true to myself is the ultimate form of self-love and respect and my mom taught me that.
It’s okay to not be okay
As a psychology major, my mom has always been a proponent of talking about feelings and not being ashamed of being “not okay.” She encouraged seeing a counselor, journaling about our feelings and early on, I learned the importance of mental health. Years have passed since we were under the same roof together but I’ve taken her teachings with me and am able to know when I’m not okay, say I’m not okay and seek professional help without shame.
Understand the other person’s perspective
Nothing frustrated my sister and me more than coming home from school and complaining about an annoying teacher or student that made us mad and to have my mom defend them or challenge our position. When we often wanted someone to affirm our whining, my mom taught us there are two sides to every story and to try and understand the other person’s perspective. Today, I always remember to put myself in another person’s shoes, try to see their perspective, and when in doubt, ask how they feel.
You’re exactly where you need to be
Life comes with many, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ moments. So what do we do? Call our moms of course. When I’m worried I should’ve done something differently, am comparing myself to someone else, or having a quarter-life crisis, she always reminds me: you’re exactly where you need to be. Each person has their own journey with unique circumstances that leads to different places. Remember that also applies to you!
Have grace for others and yourself
It’s easy to point a finger, make a quick judgment, or wonder ‘how could someone do that?’ We’re human and we all do it but what my mother taught my sister and I is to have grace toward others. If someone does something we don’t agree with or can’t understand, instead of getting tense and throwing up a ‘well I would never do that,’ show them some grace and realize that person is doing the best they can with what they’re given. And don’t forget to have grace for YOURSELF! You deserve forgiveness and understanding too.