Mother’s influence and impact on every human young and old is second to none. In all of animal kingdom the examples of the role of mother is abundant everywhere. The gosling follows the mother goose, the elephant cow has a significant role as a mother, the hippopotomus needs a mother to help survive in the herd, the puppy needs mommy to learn boundaries. The human can be no different, just from the virtue of being part of the animal kingdom.
I asked my sons today to tell me how they would remember me, and what would they say to their children and grandchildren about their mother. Being young their first response was that they would remember me for my constant reminders to keep their space neat, or reminders to get their work done.
This is what I had to say to them………………..
I have 4 different mother figures in my life that have made indelible marks on my soul. They have each highlighted one exemplary quality which has been my guiding light to living a full life regardless of the actual number of birthdays I see in my lifetime.
My first and most long lasting influence is my mother, my Amma. She taught me Self-Control. Even as a young girl when emotions were labile and wants based on peer pressures were high, she stuck to her guns and taught me deferred gratification. She taught me controlling impulses is the best form of self-control. She taught me that the body and mind may want you to do things that may be hurtful to you or to others, but we have the ability to stop this by using our conscious thinking and controlling our impulses. The ingrained thought has taken me far on my life’s journey and I can relate to numerous experiences where I was able to make correct decisions because of consious thoughts and impulse control.
My second motherly influence was my grandmother, my dear Amamma. She is no more, but God knows I wish I told her this when she was alive. Thank you so much Amamma for teaching me the importance of ‘Mindfulness’. In my hot blooded youth I never was able to understand the depth of her sincerity when she would constantly remind me to be mindful. Anytime I would be absent minded or did not pay enough attention to my environment she would remind me how importance self-awareness is. She would say at every point of time we need to be aware of what we are doing and where we are at a conscious level. After years of maturity when I myself became a mother I realized the truth and importance of this quality. Now I remember her everytime I am mindful or when I catch myself being absent minded.
My third motherly influence was my other grandmother, my dear Pati. God I wish I was able to talk to both my grandmothers and tell them how much I appreciate them now. Their words of advice has been passed down to me as my heritage now. My Pati’s dedication to her family was remarkable. She did not deter from her dedication in all adversities. Within her limited resources she encouraged and instilled the importance of education in all of her children. I now realize how influential her role model has been to me as a mother. She probably had more patience dealing with her children than I have but it is a quality I am always trying to improve with small gains at a time.
My fourth motherly influence is my Mom, my mother-in-law. She has shown me by example to stand up for the right cause always even in the most trying situations. I have realized that everyone can make mistakes, even your own flesh and blood. However true love is when you are able to speak up candidly to point out their mistakes. True love is not finding excuses for their actions. True love is not blindly accepting their actions and justifying them. True love is not enabling their weakness.
My children were paying attention to me while I was talking and finally my older one said, ” I will remember you for this talk always”, and my younger one said, “I will remember you for teaching me mindfulness”.
I couldn’t help but be proud of them for listening to my 2 cents worth of inspiration and bid them a good day as they were dropped of at their schools.
I would love for my children to talk about me and carry my words of advice as their family heritage, while striving to live a full life.