In anticipation of Mother's Day next month, I have a simple question. What do you think would happen if we treated ourselves like our own moms treat us, or better yet, how might we treat ourselves differently, if it were more like how we treat own children?
If we did, I think we’d probably all live more joyful, stress-free and purposeful lives.
Think about it, the most nurturing mothers not only love and accept their children, no matter what, they also always see their children’s value.
I’ve often laughed at my own mom for openly pointing out my strengths and boasting about my successes, big or small. I’ve shrugged off her words with thoughts like, “of course you’d say that mom – that’s because I’m your daughter.”
But then I remember an important fact.
My mom has been with me from the beginning. Like it or not, she knows me better than most people – the good, the greatest, the bad and the ugly.
Yet, she chooses to always make room for the best version of myself. And, quite frankly, if we could all do the same for ourselves, I think we’d all experience much more inner peace.
So, what can we learn from our moms, and how can we model their behavior to benefit ourselves?
1. Moms have compassion and understanding for us
Many of us beat ourselves up over every little slip-up and failure. Moms don’t.
They remind us that we are doing our best with whatever we have, in every moment, and they don’t allow us to accept our failures as indications of our lacking personalities.
Instead, moms leave room for our greatness to develop, despite what’s happening directly in front of us. They see our value no matter what, and they know that our purpose and wisdom is far greater than any of life’s circumstances.
So, how can we be more kind to ourselves?
2. Moms know there is a purpose to everything
Moms don’t allow us to dwell on “what ifs” for very long.
They’ve lived long enough to understand that all of our experiences, whether labeled good or bad, are right on time, and on purpose for our own growth and development.
So, how can we look for the lessons in everything that happens in our own lives?
3. Moms understand that we always have a choice
I remember my freshman year in college when I got my first paper back from an English Literature class, and it had a big red D- on it. I called my mom in a frenzy, telling her that I didn’t think I was cut out for college.
And, you know what she did? She said, “okay then, come home! Nobody is forcing you to be there. In fact, I can come pick you up right now!”
Wow, this was not the coddling I was expecting. Yet, it’s exactly what I needed.
The minute my mom reminded me that I had a choice by presenting a tougher reality, I suddenly felt the urge to make my situation work, regardless of the circumstances.
The lesson? We always have a choice.
So, how can we empower ourselves at all times?
4. Moms always want the best for us
Moms encourage us to fearlessly strive for the things we want in life, without getting discouraged by what others think. They believe in our abilities to make things happen, even when nobody else does.
When they see our commitment and dedication to anything, they bend over backwards to support us however they can.
So, what can we do to further our support and believe in ourselves?
5. Moms cheer us on and recognize our gifts
Moms think that even the smallest things we do are amazing. They point out every hair-splitting win and constantly remind us of how far we’ve come. They shamelessly tell their friends how amazing and talented we are.
And while this might embarrass us to no end, it also serves as a reminder to appreciate our own progress and gifts. After all, it’s somehow comforting to know that if no one else is paying attention, at least our moms are!
So, how can we find more time to celebrate our own gifts and little wins?
6. Moms give us honest feedback
Whether it’s pointing out that obvious pimple in the middle of our forehead, or highlighting how we might have approached something differently, we can count on our moms to dish-out honest feedback that is intended to serve us.
They will tell us what others are unwilling to say, because they know that our success is contingent upon our ability to learn from life’s experiences. And, they’ll remind us that all situations are opportunities for growth.
So, what could we do to open ourselves up to more personal growth and development?
7. Moms remind us to stay true to ourselves
In a world filled with many personalities and perspectives, it’s easy to get wrapped-up into what others think, or want for us. And, yet, our moms have always told us to stay true to ourselves.
Why? Because they know that staying connected with our own personal values is one of the key ingredients to living a successful and happy life.
Moms know that personal values don’t always align amongst everybody. So, it’s okay to recognize misalignments and move-on, versus trying to please everybody at our own deficits.
So, how can we learn to trust our own intuition, even when it seems challenging?
Now, think about yourself as both your own child and mom. Remember, the child within you is experiencing every moment for the first time – and he/she is learning and growing with every single step and breath.
Just like your own mom, why not patiently guide yourself, each step of the way?
Better yet, how might your life change, if you committed to the headlines above by crossing-out the word “moms,” and replacing them all with the word “I”?
There’s a great saying by an unknown source that says, “if we treated our friends like we treat ourselves, then we’d all go to jail.”
To take this a step further, I’m willing to venture that if we treated ourselves like our moms would treat us, then we’d all go to joy!
Seriously, why not take some of that amazing unconditional love that only moms can give their children, and give the same healthy doses of patience, guidance, understanding, adoration and wisdom to the curious, loveable and deserving children within each of us?
If you valued yourself the way a mom values her own children, I’m quite certain you’d experience a much more nurturing world.