Mother's Day and Acceptance

Acceptance:


noun.

the act of taking or receiving something offered.

favorable reception; approval; favor.

the act of assenting or believing:


It’s Mother’s Day. I’m thinking about my mom. And my mother-in-law. I’m considering the women in my life who have shaped me. At some point, they displayed a characteristic (or many) that I wanted to emulate. All the reminiscing has made me consider how different I am from any of those women because I have taken bits and pieces from all of them. As an example, I'll share my top two influencers.


My mom had the most direct impact in my life just because I lived with her for my first eighteen years. She was a strong, independent woman. A divorcee before it was common. A manager before woman had achieved workplace notoriety. I grew up so steeped in independence that I didn’t even understand where the equal rights and women’s rights stuff stemmed from. I was FORTY-FIVE years old before I experienced unequal treatment directly. So, yes, my mom had the biggest influence in who I am today. And I know for a fact her strong, independent personality influenced my high school friends as well. But she wasn’t perfect and there were areas in my life that were malnourished because I’d learned from her.


Enter my mother-in-law. She was strong and capable, but in such a different way from my own mother, that I had a hard time recognizing her strengths until I needed them myself. Then the woman became an icon to me. She had such a clear sense of her worth and value in this world. Though I still struggle with this occasionally, I feel I’m a million steps forward because of the years I got to watch her self-assuredness. And she was so good at letting you know she valued you. I continually strive to equal her in this. It’s my desire that my family never questions how important they are to me.


These two women were very different people. My mother was progressive. My mother-in-law conservative. Yet they were both loving and accepting. Let’s be clear, acceptance can look very different from one person to the next and that is the case here. But I truly believe I am the person I am today because I knew these two accepting women. Two women who accepted in very different ways. Two women who accepted me.


We’ve lost both women now. But they live on in our memories and in our actions and in our love. I am so thankful to have had them in my life and I hope I can honor them by being that woman to my children, to their loved ones, to others around them. The woman who models acceptance in a way they hope to embrace themselves. I’m okay with it not being the only way…because that is how we should move forward with each generation. By taking the best traits from the ones we love and molding them to make our best self.


Happy Mother’s Day to the women shaping our future.

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