Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My Mother, Myself

Before I get started on last week's vacation in Michigan, I want to go back to Christmas Day when we were at Donica's mom's. Prior to the arrival of the others, I asked Donica to please take a picture of me with her mom, which she did:



This is not my own mother, who passed away 10 years ago. She's Donica's, and therefore is my mother-in-law, only 5 years my senior. However, I don't think of her as my sister or friend. She's the only mother I now have and I proudly call her Mom.

Every time we go see her in south Atlanta, twice a month, I always tell Donica that I love her to death! So on Christmas Day, I started asking myself Why? I love her because she's kind, generous, quiet, calm, slow to speak, expansive in Gemini gifts and talents, radiant, quick to smile (midst much heartache), stylish, a gourmet cook, a lover of nature, cats and dogs. And did I say generous?! Oh, and she's a fellow redhead!

Akin to "Love your neighbor as yourself," and how in the world can you love your neighbor if you don't first love yourself (!), I started thinking about how much I want to be all these good qualities I see in Mom. And would I then love myself to death?

It sounds weird, I know, but we didn't hear much growing up in my preacher-dad's home about loving ourselves. That was too me-centered; too selfish. It was always about loving our neighbor. Never ourselves.

I'm thinking Mom's best Christmas gift to me this year was mirroring me back to myself. I do have some of her qualities but not all of them. Nor am I necessarily meant to, I suppose. But in looking at her, I want to love and grow into who I really am and can be. And maybe then I can mirror someone else to themself (like my own daughter). A wonderful cycle of loving ourselves so we can truly love others.

My Mother, Myself. I like that, Mom. I love you to death.

5 comments:

  1. I agree with the link of love your neighbor as yourself is impossible if you don't love yourself. There's a kid in our church who says mean as spit things all the time at the core I think it's not because he doesn't like others...he's hungry for attention, affirmation, et. ..but rather it's because he doesn't like himself.

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  2. Thanks for the post on this topic, Ginnie. I am very happy that you love my mom, as we both love you. I know she will have the same tears in her eyes as I do when she reads this post.

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  3. Donica brought tears to MY eyes. Thanks for this, Boots.

    Ruth

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  4. WHAT REALLY NICE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT SOMEONE. YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL PERSON AND I LOVE YOU AND DONICA VERY MUCH.

    I HAVE ALWAYS FELT THAT IF YOU DON'T LIKE AND LOVE YOURSELF, YOU CAN'T REALLY LOVE OTHERS; AND I REALLY DO LOVE AND ENJOY PEOPLE.

    MANY YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS SINGLE AND RAISING THREE CHILDREN, I WOULD LOOK AT MYSELF IN THE MIRROR GETTING DRESSED FOR WORK AND DO A LITTLE SELF ANALYSIS.... IF I FELT GOOD ABOUT MYSELF THEN THINGS WERE OK. LIFE WAS GOOD. THAT DOSEN'T MEAN THAT YOU DON'T SCREW UP AND MAKE MISTAKES. BUT, IF YOU CAN GROW FROM THEM, THEN MAYBE IT WILL ALL WORK OUT.

    DONICA IS RIGHT, I DID GET TEARS IN MY EYES.

    LOVE, MOM

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  5. I guess I knew, Mom, that I'd have to write a post about you to get you to comment. HA.

    Seriously, I always take your words to heart. Interestingly, this was the quote from Paul Tillich that came to my InBox today: "The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable."

    Sometimes others see our faults better than we do ourselves. Then there are some of us who are too hard on ourselves and just need to be more accepting and move on, learning from our mistakes, as you said.

    I agree: it all works out and you are definite proof of that!

    Thank you!

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