After an amazing week of a family reunion vacation, I find myself reflecting on the power of family. And, how they create who we are. And, well, that goes right on back to Mom and Dad for me. What I remember as a defining moment in my life was when my Mom sat me down when I was about 9 years old and explained what my parents expected from me. She proceeded to say that I was born "cute" and that was a gift. I didn't have to work at it and I didn't earn it. So, from that moment forward I would never hear my parents praise the fact that I was cute. And, the fact my brother was a bit of a genius (top 100 high school students in America, barely studied and got straight A's, graduated college with honors, so basically every siblings nightmare) was never going to be discussed either, because it was a gift to him as well. These gifts were given to us and we had not earned them. But, what would be praised was anything we did with these gifts and any others we created ourselves.
And, they would never compare my grades to my brother's either. What was expected from me was that I give it my best. I remember pleading with my Mom for our I.Q's, which she stubbornly said wasn't important.
And, finally my Mother said it was up to me to develop my inward beauty and that was really what counted in life. What a wise woman she was.
All I can say is I am thankful my parents pushed me to establish myself inwardly and not just rely on my looks to get by. Not that I am or was that cute anyway. But, Lord knows beauty fades.
Going to college was not an option. I figured my I.Q. must have at least been enough to get me through college, otherwise my parents wouldn't have been so darn persistent. Or, I hoped or prayed! I do plan to pass this standard forward to my son. And, thankfully because of a little tough love from my parents, I did push myself to evolve in a few arenas. Not that I am very talented in any of them, but at least I didn't end up looking in the mirror all day and only getting my confidence from what looked back at me. Because the fact that I am now in my mid-forties, I can attest to the fact that outward beauty fades. Whether you like it or not. And, thankfully, I seemed to blossom in a few other abilities; such as athletics, interior design, fashion, sales and writing. The only time I have ever been able to pull off straight A's in school was when it was interior design school. That was a bit of a shocker. I thought my brother could only do that. And, the ability to write has been just as shocking. Both of which my parents are beyond thrilled and incredibly supportive. We all scratch our heads and say "where did that come from?" And, after all these years my Mom has said, "See, you are as smart as your brother!
You just weren't interested in the subject matter."
All I can say is "thanks for making me become ME
from the inside out,
Mom and Dad."
I can only hope that I can do the same for my son.
What advice have you gotten that changed your life
or made a difference?
Or, what advice would you give a child or parent?
Love and light,
ChristinaPhoto credit: Photobucket