3 Silent Lessons from My Mother

With Mother’s Day being this Sunday, I’ve been thinking a ton about my own mom. Kind is the first word that comes to mind when I describe her to someone, always in some variation of “my mom is the kindest person on this planet.” And I mean it. Every. Single. Time. I would challenge you and your mom to a kindness duel, but that seems contradictory. 😉

Besides the power of kindness (or perhaps because of it), she taught me many other lessons without needing to speak a word. To be near her was to soak up her wisdom by osmosis—it was absorbed into every fiber of my being. Let me share with you the three silent lessons from my mother that I value the most.

#1. Be grateful for every little thing life offers. The power of gratitude has gained a lot of traction over the past few years, and my mom is the OG of gratitude. As far as I know, she doesn’t keep a gratitude journal of any kind. She doesn’t have to remind herself. It simply shines through in everything she does.

Here’s one example that has stuck with me over the years: Growing up on the farm, every summer we ate a lot of hamburgers and sweet corn. Why? Because we had a big ol’ patch of sweet corn in the field and a freezer full of ground beef from the cattle we raised. (Thank you, cows!) Mom would need to work in the fields, so my sisters and I would often be tasked with making lunch for the family. This was a simple meal we could put together on our own. While everyone grew tired of eating the same thing on such a regular basis, my mom never complained. She was grateful to have the fresh and very local food for our plates. While there are a million other memories I could share, this seems the timeliest. Be grateful for what you have in your life.

#2. Nourishment comes from more than just food. My mom is a woman of faith. It’s always been a big part of her life. I’d even say that as my siblings and I were growing up, faith was her primary method of self-care and crucial nourishment beyond food. Attending church every Saturday night or Sunday morning was a must, and we prayed before every meal. Raising eight kids on a dairy farm required a lot of hustle, and she didn’t have much time for herself.

Now that all of her kids have moved out and my parents are no longer farming, she’s been able to add other nourishing activities into her life. I love that my mother can unapologetically enjoy her downtime—to read, enjoying her morning coffee with my dad out by their pond, and even take the occasional nap in the afternoon. She’s earned every one of these moments. Indeed, we all need to make time for ourselves.

#3. Don’t worry until there’s a reason to worry. My mom is not a worrier, whether she’s awaiting medical test results or pondering whatever else the future holds. Her modus operandi is to trust that everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to. It will all be okay. Talk about an effective way to manage your stress levels.

Sure, things don’t always turn out exactly as we might hope. But dwelling on it serves no purpose. It’s a waste of time. When life hands you those proverbial lemons, you figure that shit out and move on. Those are my words, not hers. Mom isn’t much of a swearer. 😉

Now, these lessons didn’t come to her from a life of luxury or a lack of challenging times. Rather, they just seem to be part of her DNA. I’m thrilled that as her daughter I have access to some of that genetic coding. (Granted, I can give you a long list of people who might argue these qualities are a bit diluted in me.) But thanks for being an excellent sharer anyway, Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day, to my mom and all the other moms out there!

Image from iStock/Choreograph.

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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