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I Once Resisted My Mom’s Way Of Loving, Now I Thank Her For That

I Once Resisted My Mom’s Way Of Loving, Now I Thank Her For That

My mother was always very quirky and different. Growing up quirky and different meant fun and carefree – each day was filled with exciting activities or adventurous journeys. I learnt how to knit and make my own clothes, I learnt how to meditate and be at one with myself, I could name every species of butterfly or tree. I was encouraged to be creative and express myself through drawing, playing the guitar and listening to old records – these were just an everyday occurrence. We didn’t have much money, I was an only child and my dad had never really been around – I was influenced fully by my mother’s love and personality and we spent so much time together that I became an little extension of her.

When I started high school, fitting in was the number one aim of every kid. Being different meant you were a target and that mindset was enforced in a quick and rapid way. It was around this time that I started to realise that I didn’t really have the same interests as the other kids. I was a lot more withdrawn – I like to think I was more of an observer and listener than a talker – but all the kids around me seemed outgoing, more worldly and therefore intimidating to me.

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As a shy child, I missed the company of my mother when I was at school. I didn’t really feel like I fitted in and my mother was the only person I could truly relate to. I wore bright colourful clothes that didn’t look like anything the others were wearing mainly because my mother had lovingly and painstakingly made them for me. I suddenly didn’t like feeling so different, the comments from others seemed strange but turned into hurt, causing me to question myself and my identity. As I slowly started to make friends, I slowly started to conform to how the other kids behaved and dressed to make sure I didn’t stand out in any way – it was a form of survival and that survival meant rejecting all that my mother had made me.

The rebellion started soon after. I started to resent my mother for creating such a quirky, strange child. Suddenly my creativeness was a negative aspect of me and I was consumed by my idea of fitting in. The relationship with my mother started to break down – I could see the hurt in her eyes as she watched her child dismiss who she was and what she had raised her to be. I was embarrassed to be seen with her for fear people would judge me and label me as eccentric because of the clothes she wore and words she used.

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All the way through this period, my mother didn’t once scold me for changing, she kept on loving me despite my sometimes hurtful actions and words, she stepped back and allowed me to be who I wanted to be.

Now I look back on those days with true realisation and understanding of the extent of a mother’s love. I don’t regret conforming and rebelling against who I truly was because I feel going through that only allowed me to find myself again and know for sure what makes me happy. But I do regret hurting my mother in a way I’m not sure she would have expected when she had me all those years ago. Her creativity and adding colour into life, immersing herself in the world around her is something that will never leave me.

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As I sit here with my own newborn daughter, wrapped in the blanket I knitted for her, I have every intention of teaching her the things that make me happy – no matter how unconventional they may be. My mother taught me to be unique, creative, kind and see the world in a different way. I will always appreciate the things my mother taught me because they made me the person and mother I am today – a person who is quirky, a person who is different and a person who is proud of that fact.

Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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