Growing up, whenever I experienced fear, anxiety, sadness, confusion, judgement, or a lack of self-confidence, it was my mother who soothed me, shook me from my stupor, and guided me to a place of love, light, and strength. But it wasn’t just her words which shaped me into becoming a strong-willed woman, it was her actions in her own life. The way she responded to challenges; the way she presented herself, like she could cut glass with her confidence, and her all-knowing attitude that she was worth every breath on this planet, shaped me into the person I am in so many ways. And I know I’m not the only one. If you have a strong mother, you’ll appreciate these eight things she has likely taught you:
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You learn the importance of being independent
When you put your happiness, success, and wellbeing in another’s hands, you give up the power to control the depth of your imprint on the world. No one should have the ability to say what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. In order to continuously grow, your life decisions remain up to you, from falling in love to raising a family, and from traveling and fulfilling a career to choosing the people and pastimes that make you thrive.
You learn the value of selflessness and unconditional love
In sickness and in health, in troubled times and in high spirits, your mother was there for you. No problem was too small or big to ignore, and no accomplishment too tiny not to praise. She gave up her time to care for you in every imaginable way, and never did she complain about it, because it came from a place of unconditional love.
You learn how to love yourself unconditionally, too
The older you grow, the less you allow things to break your spirit. That which does not serve you has no place in your life, and so you pay it no mind. You know that the fundamental value of your being cannot be defined by toxic people, failed relationships, and unfortunate circumstances. What defines you is how you respond to it all. In the face of hardship, you persevere, because your mother taught you that the only way to move is forward.
You learn that you can be just as soft as you are strong
Little did you see your mother cry, roll her eyes, or melt down over things big or small, but it doesn’t mean she wasn’t sensitive. Though her strength was seen in her ability to keep it all together, it was her compassion to nourish your roots and watch you grow that exposed her soft nature at heart. She taught you to face life head on, but also to nurture your relationship to the people and things that matter to you most.
You learn how to manifest your own happiness
Your mother taught you that happiness can be found even in the worst of times, because life cannot be measured by mere moments in time. She found a smile, even laughter, in the darkest of days, giving you proof that when hope feels lost, you just have to dig deep to find your true self, filled with wholehearted, sheer joy.
You learn to never look over your shoulder
The past shaped you, but it certainly doesn’t define you. Your mother never dwelled on a missed opportunity, because she knew that it was a waste of her precious time. She only took how it felt and used it as fuel to promote a better presence, and pave a more desirable path. She taught you that one foot in front of the other is the key to progression, and that everything that happened in the past has pushed you forward.
You learn that her understanding of love is still greater than yours
With each fight, heartbreak, and new relationship, you feel you learn more about what love is. And while you do, you still confide in your mother for answers, because everything you’re going through, she’s been through twice over. Even if you don’t approve of her love choices, it doesn’t mean you don’t take her advice to heart, because it’s proved right every time.
You learn that it is never too late to be who you are
While life can lose you sometimes, you will always find your way back. Your strong-willed mother is living proof. Through the pain and the misplacement, she never really quit, even if it felt like it at the time. Being happy, free, beautiful, fun, successful, and true to yourself has no expiration date.
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