Category Archives: Things My Mother Says

Things My Mother Says: Love Yourself

If there’s anything I love most about my mother, it’s that she’s a giver. With her ability to so seamlessly give her love and kindness without ever wanting anything back makes her a true gift to the world around her. I grew up watching her do it … give pieces of her heart out over and over again, believing that with each little piece, she could make a difference in all who’s lives she touched. So it comes as no surprise to me when I see how much she is loved and respected in return.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be JUST like that. And now, more than ever, as a married woman with my life literally in my own hands to mold as I pleased, I wanted to shape it as a life of giving … just as she had.

Growing up, she had told me that I really was a giver; and I felt proud that I was finally following in her footsteps. It became my own personal mantra to believe that everyone deserved a bit of affection and kindness, and I wanted to be the one to grant it to them. But any giver would know as well as I do, how quickly the selfless joy of giving, once exhausted, becomes a fight to protect what little you have left.

The problem isn’t about appreciation or wanting anything in return. The problem is that suddenly you’re expected to give all the time. And expectations leave you feeling like you are constantly falling short … constantly disappointing.

So amidst my struggle to keep up with expectations, I ran to my mother—which, even when you’re married you never grow out of—for some kind of guidance. She had been doing it all of these years after all.

She said,

If you really want to be a giver, you must first give to yourself. You must first love yourself. When you love yourself, you strive for success and happiness in all that you do. But that doesn’t only include you. It includes the success and happiness in your every relationship, in your every behavior with others, and in your every course of life. You love yourself first so that you have the ability to love others too.
Love Yourself

Via The Ballerina Project

I always thought that “love yourself” was just another way to say that it was ok be selfish. But when my mother pointed out that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t only affect me, it all began to make better sense.

The only person I was falling short with was myself. I was so concerned in giving others what I felt they needed that I forgot about me. I put aside what I wanted; I constantly questioned if I was doing enough; and worst of all, I allowed the growing expectations to take priority over what was really important to me. Where did that get me? Bitterly hiding behind a defensive wall of “leave me alone.”

My dear givers, listen closely. I realized that not everybody gives the way we may give. So I began to give back to myself. I began to love myself. And in return, I finally filled the empty hole I dug from giving too much. Now, I’m slowly going back to being Karma’s good elf again, happily spreading the bit of love and kindness I still believe everyone deserves. But first and foremost, I’m giving that bit of love and kindness to me, and turns out, that’s what I’ve need all along.

: : : Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world : : :

— Eleanor Roosevelt —

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Things My Mother Says: The Two Types of Experiences

Via Flickr: Compact.Girl

Upon the many projects and ideas I’ve put together, one idea I wanted to begin especially on my blog, was a whole new category titled “Things My Mother Says.” Call me cliché, but that outspoken little voice of reason inside my head has always been the voice of my mother and her many antics of advice and experiences, complete enough to put together a 101 guide to life.

Looking back through my blog posts since the beginning of the year I’ve noticed two things. 1. I don’t blog nearly as much as I’d like to despite my constant promises to change that, and 2. As we’re half way through the year, I’ve already felt like I’ve been through a roller coaster, lost balance and finally stood back up again. On a side note, let me tell you something about roller coasters. I’ve never enjoyed them; in fact I mostly feared them. The idea of allowing yourself to be swung around in loops and violent drops did not seem fun to me AT ALL. But in following through with a promise to my younger, roller coaster loving sister, I took her to an amusement park just a few weeks ago where I was subjected to unwillingly ride most of the crazy rides with her. I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to conquer my ridiculous fears. Verdict? Yup, still afraid.

What I mean to say is, when did the years start becoming so difficult to get past?

Yes it has already been one of those years. There was confusion then there was a light bulb moment. There was hurt then there was running away to find healing. There were mistakes, stubbornness, tears, frustration…then laughs, smiles, lessons learned and acceptance, all leading to a final sudden calm. That calm just happened to come when I realized that I was ready to live by a significant “something” my mother said just a few days ago.

She said,

“There are two types of experiences. Those that pass with lessons learned and those that break your backbone like a violent wake-up call, shaking the serenity of your life. With lessons learned, you seek understanding and move on. But once broken, the trick is not just to learn but also to change.”

So there I was, feeling the very metaphor in my carelessly bound backbone realizing that hiding and running away from disappointment and hurt didn’t do anything but make me a master of my very own numbness. Was I happier then I was months ago? Was I less lost? Less frustrated? Back to my optimistic self? Definitely. Then why the need for change?

Maybe I’m obsessed with the idea of new beginnings and starting fresh, but there’s always something welcoming about change when it’s in your own control; when you, yourself, open the door to second chance and become a little more resilient for the next time an experience comes and tries to break your backbone.

Take it into consideration for all of you like me, whose minds were just cleared from the dizziness of spinning too fast. A bit of self-guided change could do us a world of good. As a line from my favorite poem reads, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul” (Invictus – William Ernest Henley).

: : : I don’t know what I’ve done or if I like what I’ve begun. But something told me to run and honey you know me, it’s all or none. There were sounds in my head. LIttle voices whispering that I should go and this should end oh and I found myself listening : : :

— Where I Stood, Missy Higgins —

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