Mother’s Day (in many parts of the world) is exactly 5 days from today. I want to share with you a personal story.
I came back to Thailand, my home country, to get a new visa. Due to the pandemic, I am stuck here until further notice. My initial reaction to the lockdown and the closing of borders was probably like many other people’s. I wished I could continue traveling. I wished I was quarantined with a romantic partner. I wished I could still go out to eat and hit the gym. I initially hated the idea of being stuck at home at my mom’s because I kept reminding myself of past childhood memories where I felt like I was being kept in a cage when I wanted to be a free bird who could be her most authentic self without feeling judged.
Now it’s been over 5 weeks since I moved back to my mom’s. During the first 4 weeks, I kept feeling triggered. I kept feeling annoyed with her little complaints. It reminded me why I didn’t want to live at home and why I wanted to move away so badly.
But now I feel different.
My mom adopted two kids who are now 6 and 11. They are my cousins’ kids. However, my cousins are not responsible adults - kind of broken in their own ways (which I won’t get into). So my mom thinks the kids would be better off if they were in her care. Initially, I didn’t support the idea. I felt like mom was trying to add more responsibilities - especially financial responsibilities - to herself. But now that I’ve been back for a while and start bonding with them, I start to feel attached to them. The kids are really good kids. They even help mom do house chores without complaining. They love helping mom - something that I and my sister never did. Then it hit me. It hit me that these kids are happy to help mom with house chores because they feel grateful. They feel grateful that they have a loving home and an adult who loves them like they’re her own. And who am I to not be grateful for my own mother? All I’ve been focusing on is how much she complains about me and is always worried. While my mom has a tendency to focus on her worries instead of her gratitude, I also have a tendency, in regards to my relationship with my mother, to focus on her complaints instead of her love.
Why do I do that? I have the power to change how I feel by simply changing how I look at things. If I focus on her complaints, then I feel annoyed. If I focus on her love, then I feel grateful. Even though her words are exactly the same and maybe we can’t change the way our parents show their love to us, we can change the way we interpret what is being shown to us. The power is in our hands.
You can keep yourself in the past feeling triggered, wounded, and upset holding grudges over someone. Or you can choose to forgive, see the glass half full, and feel thankful that you even have a glass to begin with.
I hope this little personal story inspires you in some way to look at the people in your life differently - not just your parents, but whoever it is that you have in life that may push your buttons from time to time. You can be annoyed by their worries or you can be grateful that someone is even worried about you. The choice is yours.
I hope that this pandemic is giving you a new perspective about something in life, makes you realize what matters and what doesn’t. And if your family’s love is wounded and is still mendable, I hope you get to use this time to heal that wound so that all your deep hidden scars can finally fade away.
To be continued in the next blog post ...