Several months ago, I received a request from a colleague who was compiling timeless advice from mothers, for an essay compilation called A Mother’s Wisdom. We were asked to share advice that we found particularly essential in our lives. I couldn’t wait to share advice from my mother, who is not only seen as a wise advisor by me, but a wise advisor by all who know her.
It is an honor to share my mother’s essential life insights, just in time for this year’s Mother’s Day.
My mother, Helene, always possessed wise maternal instincts. An educator by vocation, she seamlessly incorporated her natural teaching techniques and weaved them effortlessly into her mothering style. Helene made sure her girls, there are 3 of us, were raised to have a healthy dose of self -esteem and self-worth.
My mother was not one to offer praise, indiscriminately. Instead, she focused on what she felt our natural strengths and weaknesses were. This made her messaging even more impactful because we thoroughly trusted her insights, even when at times, we didn’t want to.
Helene told us, there is always going to be someone richer, prettier, and smarter out there. She understood the value in not getting too attached to being the most “whatever” in the room of life. Mother Helene happily shared a perceptive truths. Some days we may feel like a shining star, enjoying the delight of being center stage, while other days we might play a more supportive life role. She spoke about the importance to embrace both roles with grace and contentment. While she shared it may be fun to be front and center stage, she also spoke to how important it was to let others star and have their moment to shine, too.
My mother taught me my sense of self-worth must come from an inner knowingness of who I am and not to let others’ judgments define or diminish my sense of self-worth or uniqueness.
What a relief to learn my self-esteem and sense of self must ultimately come from within. That one must tap into an inner wisdom rather than over relying on the ephemeral opinions of others.
My mother is a great believer that how we make others feel in a room is so much more important than what room we find ourselves in.
While always aware of the power of a woman’s femininity, she encouraged my sisters and I to enjoy the beauty and art of being female. She encouraged body confidence and never made us feel self-conscious about our looks. Helene held the power to make us feel beautiful, smart, and worthy. She encouraged us to set high standards for ourselves, to shoot for our dreams and to bloom where we are planted.
Her fundamental words of wisdom are the foundations for which I try to live my life today. The central principles which help me to embrace myself and encourage others, as I engage in this magical experience called life.
I appreciate my mother every day for being a knowledgeable and talented teacher who continues to be my bright light and cherished advisor, today and every day.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Love you now and forever!!!