Early on my mother realized that being in an abusive relationship with our father and her husband came to a life or death situation. She said “someone was going to die.” My mother chose life. In 1980 , several months after her father’s death and one year after her third child, she gathered the three of us, all under the age of 5, two suitcases, and $4,000 and left my father.
I never considered ourselves poor, and we always had food on the table, a roof over our heads, and much more. With everything that I experienced as a child, I know that God gave us the right mother.
Without my mother’s teachings, I don’t know where I would be today. I didn’t focus on not having my biological father in my life or other adversities, but on what I did have and made the best of it.
I am currently editing a memoir, Underestimated: Leaving A Legacy Worth Fighting For where I discuss many of my mother’s life principles and how they have helped me in being the person and mother I want to be. I want to leave a legacy of character and the conviction of leaving the world a better place.
Here are 10 of my mother’s principles I share in my memoir, Underestimated.
- Give from the heart and expect nothing in return. We will run into people who may treat us unfairly. Our life is not about what they do, but how we react in the face of adversity.
- Be Thankful. Show your gratitude by taking care of what God gives you. God will bless you with more. I have seen this principle in my progression to my first house, children, and health.
- Be Bold. No one is greater than me. Ask for what you want.
- Live Another Day. If you can hold out until tomorrow, life may surprise you.
- Take Care of Yourself. To take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first. When I had pneumonia for the first time in late 2019, I couldn’t be there for my family like I wanted to. This period of unwell and recovery helped me in choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Take Care Of Home First. If you can’t do something for your own family, how can you do it for others. My belief is I am not a successful unless my children are.
- Make No Excuses. Once you accept others and yourself, you can move forward. Denial leads to a lot of unhealthy behaviors and emotions. I didn’t rely on alcohol, drugs, and sex to hide from my past or emotions.
- Move Beyond, “I’m sorry.” Anyone can say the words. Action is what really speaks.
- Listen. You learn more by listening.
- Create The Family You Want. Just because it has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean you need to continue.
Mothers have the power to shape the world before, during, and after life experiences. We do not have control over every life experience, but we can reinforce the compassion, forgiveness, love, peace, and understanding in our child. A mother’s wisdom can make the trial seem less of a tragedy. I hope I will do the same for my children.
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