This year for Mother’s Day, I wanted to make a special tribute to my mom. Her own mom, my grandmother, passed away when my mom was 5. She also had 2 younger sisters and basically has taken care of them her whole life. Because my dad was in the army, she was a single mom for the most part, teaching elementary school and taking care of two young kids under the age of 3. She has survived many hardships, yet she stands strong and overcomes every obstacle. She raised 7 children, opened two restaurants on top of working 10 hour night shifts. For 5 years straight she slept an average of 4 hours a day. Everything she did was so that her children could have opportunities she never had, and so that we didn’t have to go through the same struggles she did as a woman, mother, worker, wife and business owner. I have learned so much from her over these 41 years. I wanted to share about the 3 top things I always focus on as a leader and business owner which I learned from my very own mom.
- Never lose faith. When life is hard you have to believe that you are in this situation for a reason. Sometimes the question is not “Why is this happening” but “What can I do right now.” Prayer has always been a powerful solution and intervention for me. Witnessing my parents praying for God to help them get through a difficult time and then seeing them come out of it on the other side, not just OK but even better than when they started, has given me proof time and time again that I can never lose faith in this journey of life. Prayer gives me peace and a sense of calm… but also HOPE. We can sit there and complain and sulk in our misery, or we can set an intention and take control over what we can do now to move forward. Sometimes we don’t understand why something is happening, but one day, in the future, it will all make sense. You just have to have faith that there is a reason for this obstacle and to focus on the now and what you do have control over.
- Never give up. My mom did not raise a loser. By that I mean, she did not raise quitters. All of the children in our family played a musical instrument. It wasn’t easy for me. I wanted to be good at it, but I also didn’t want to practice. I was a child and all I wanted to do was play with Barbie and my Cabbage Patch doll. No matter what excuse we gave her, she always encouraged me to give it my all in everything that I do. Even if it seems hard at first, if I focused my energy on that one thing, I would eventually find the success I was looking for. Even as an adult when I wanted to quit my business because it was “hard”, she helped me through that. Instead of focusing on why I didn’t like something, she asked me to think about all the things I LOVED about it. That gave me the fuel I needed to move forward. Because of her, I am persistent, strong and do not give up easily.
- Forgive. This has been one of the hardest lessons for me. It is difficult for me to let go when I have been hurt or offended by someone. First of all, not everyone will like you. If you have been following me, I have a post where I talk about how you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. (You can access it here). I mean, you don’t like everyone, so why should it be any different when it comes to people liking you? When my mom talked about forgiveness, I felt like I was letting that offender get away with their nastiness, and I wanted to somehow punish them, not let them get away with it! However, hanging on to that animosity will only make you feel worse. My mom always said that when someone speaks badly of you, it is because of their own insecurities. They are hating because at some level, they want to be like you or at some level, they also want what you achieved but they were just not courageous enough to go for it. They are reflecting their disappointment and insecurities about themselves on you. Plus the higher you rise and the more successful you are, the more attention you will receive, both criticism and praise. It just comes with the territory. My mom told me to think about forgiveness as compassion. Understand that person is going through pain or a personal battle with themselves and to forgive them in your heart so that you, too, can move on. No one said you had to like them or be friends with them, but by forgiving them, you let go of that negative energy that is associated with them and you too can be free.
My mom is an amazing woman. There are just too many lessons I have learned from her. Definitely too much to share in a post! One of these days, I will share some of her inspiring stories. Hoping all the moms out there had an awesome Mother’s Day!