Posts tagged ‘Family’

Little Brother, Love Your Mother

mother in nuclear family

Image via Wikipedia

[Author’s note: This article was copied and reposted without permission from the author on another WordPress Website which seems to mostly or only consist of such reposting. I appreciate that the blogger at least included my name, but the action was nonetheless immoral and disrespectful. Still, the blog itself is a nice collection of articles. I have not included it on my regular blogroll or below, but for the sake of my readers, I want you to know it is called “Kids Say”.]

Young man, your mom may not be complaining but I bet she doesn’t hear from you much and usually doesn’t know how to reach you. Daughters and moms are a little different. My mom lives 6 hours away and can track me down within 4 hours max. Mothers never stop being moms and as age steals away control over their own lives, they start looking for more control over their kids’ again. The more control you give the way you want to give it, the less frantic attempts will be at control where and when you don’t want it.
I’m going to play big sis/mentor again. Please out of courtesy to the role of mothers who will always worry, stay connected. How? 1) Call your mom at least weekly (maybe even set a day to be “update” day), visit her (even just stop by) every 2 weeks, take extra time for her at least monthly (longer conversation or visit, a movie together, etc), and (until you are married) spend every major holiday with her even if it isn’t right on the date. 2) At least monthly, ask her advice (for anything, even if you don’t need it or follow it) or tell her how something she’s previously taught you (however little) has helped you. 3) Figure out what her love “buzz” word is. Does she like to be “admired, appreciated, adored” or asked what her opinion is? Actively look for opportunities to use the buzz word frequently. 4) Acknowledge her anxieties (which sometimes may get expressed as anger) spoken and unspoken, then respond with compromise (give into extra caution when it’s not a big deal and give her firm evidence to counter her fears) 5) Never be unreachable. Choose when you communicate, but make sure she has a few friends’ numbers for emergencies. Check your messages often and respond within a day or less, acknowledging when you got the msg.  Your mom needs you as much as you once needed her, and you need her still even if you don’t realize how.
She’s always gonna be a mother and you’ve given her oodles of reason to worry.You’ll always be her “baby”.  Remember that you were intimately tied to her at one time; letting go of you is like letting go  of a part of herself. Even when a mother barely acts like a mom, there is that biological bond that men can never understand. Accept her concern with empathy and remember that her world is getting smaller as she ages while yours is getting bigger. Don’t carve her too far out of it; she’ll be gone before you know it.
I’m coming from a place of experience, saying this while I’m watching my mom’s health decline and my brother get frustrated with her such that he doesn’t want to “deal” with her as much. My mom is clinging hard to me, but I’m not resenting it anymore. Someday, she won’t be able to cling and I will be the one who doesn’t want to let go. And the things that once annoyed me, I now see as the fruit of her upbringing and all that has influenced her through her life. I use humor to draw gentle boundaries and remind her with admiration of who she was and what she was doing at my age. I remind her what she’s taught me and acknowledge I was a slow learner. I remind her that she doesn’t have to be a perfect mom and that my mistakes are not due to her lack of effort. I remind her that SHE is still growing too.
Anyway, mother-child relationships are often at the heart of our “hard times” in life. Sometimes the solution is a just a little companionship, simply showing interest by calling or listening. I hope the most important thing I’ve helped you do is grow up. Learn from my experience little brother. My mistakes aren’t worth repeating.

Thank You Gray Skies – image

Die Gartenlaube (1887) b 437

Image via Wikipedia

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As foster parents, my spouse and I have found it beneficial to develop rituals, but ones that respect a child’s right to develop their own spiritual beliefs. One way we have found to do this is for each person to recount three things specific to the day for which we are grateful while we eat dinner. I’m a little quirky in that I love the smell of rain and the freshness of the air much more than bright sun that makes me squint, cooks my flesh and makes me perspire. So I sang my praise to God on one particularly gloomy day to the dumbfounded amazement of the foster child in our home at the time. The image below developed from the brief conversation that ensued. I hope it keeps you encouraged and focused on the positive. Take care.
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Loving Ourselves Into Fullness

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Have you been hurt? People have hurt me. When I came to truly understand that those who hurt me were hurting, I no longer needed to find a reason in me why I was the victim. I also, in recognizing those who hurt me as probably once being victims, was able to give myself permission to love the person who hurt me. I was able to see the person who hurt me as a complete person with different sides and aspects to them. I could be angry at some parts and allow myself to want other parts. I acknowledged that no matter how evil their actions, people are not evil, just imperfect.

I started to feel multiple emotions at one time. My feelings intermingled and got to know each other. Angry Me got to know Scared Me and Confident Me and all the others Me’s that were NOT really Me, the FULL Me. As my emotions learned to coexist, I was able to integrate the different parts of me. I became whole, and thus fulfilled. I finally understood why you can’t truly love others until you love yourself. I hope someday that each and every person who feels at war with themselves finds the person(s) who can guide him/her through the same journey of growth to wholeness.

One of my friends was sexually abused by her mother. Her Mother’s actions were UNloving when she hurt her; she was not being a mother. My friend, as a child, could NOT have done anything to deserve what happened to her or to stop it. My friend’s mother was NOT hurting my friend because she thought my friend deserved it. Deep inside her mother loved her. Her mother did not know how to show it. An explanation is not an excuse. Her mom didn’t make the choice to grow up. When we aren’t “raised,” that choice is much harder, but it is still ours. We are made to love. A mother loves her child. It is biological. Showing love, though, is something we learn through nurturing. As adults, what we haven’t been taught it is still our responsibility to learn.

I’m not surprised that victims of abuse “hate” their abusers, but I feel sad. I want them to know…

When you feel hate, the loving part of you is scared of that hate. The loving part of you is angry that hate is stealing away your attention. The loving you feels guilty because hating feels wrong. Love and hate can’t relate. Love and hate can’t coexist.  So, the loving you hides away and isn’t there…to love you. Hate isn’t an emotion. It is the absence of love. You aren’t wrong or bad to hate, it just isn’t helpful.

I pray love, bit by bit and more and more each day, consumes every heart that hates. We are made to love. We all have been have been hurt by someone along the way. If we accept the responsibility, we keep learning and loving ourselves into fullness. That, in essence, is the journey of life. Otherwise, we are just existing and we’ll forever be discontent. When we are discontent, we cannot experience joy. Choose joy.