My Mother’s Shoes

My lesson on patience in the pursuit of purpose

imagesGod created me; my mind, particularities, and my capabilities. However it was my Mother’s influence and inspiration that formed me into the person I am today. Growing up I was taught I had gifts and that there was a purpose for my life. Yet despite that great message, I have still struggled for many years with knowing what I am meant to do with my life.

Recently I started a job that quite surprised me, not only because it is work that I didn’t think I could ever be good at, but also because I really enjoy it. It has caused an epiphany that I feel changing the course of my life into one of clarity and certainty. I am working with disabled seniors; sometimes doing simple things that help bring joy to their lives, and sometimes doing complex things that help them navigate some personal struggle. It was my Mother who showed me a perspective that honors and respects the elderly; she exposed me to environments that taught me the needs, fears, and feelings they posses but for which they all too often lack acknowledgment of and/or care for. My mother has worked with the aging and disabled since I can remember, and she is passionate about it. She can brilliantly connect with them in ways that astonish me. To watch her effortlessly navigated and cultivate these relationships is truly heart-warming.

Growing up I would so often have a desire to connect and help them in a similar way, but all too often I felt awkward and unsure. For the longest time I felt so unworthy as a daughter, I wanted so badly to be able to do what my mom did, but I just didn’t seem to have her gift. Sometimes I felt this admiration so strongly that I would brainstorm ways in which I could get through nursing school, despite my many inhibitions (I do not have the stomach for it.) I knew I had the compassion she had, that is so necessary it working with elderly and disabled people, I felt the pain of it constantly. Unfortunately even though I possessed this, along with a desire to make a difference in the same way as my mother, I still always felt that something vital was missing that kept it out of reach. I resolved myself to believe that I was simply inadequate to ever fill my mothers shoes.

What I have since learned and now know, is that the only thing I really lacked was confidence. In my young and not yet mature mind, I confused the correlation of my inexperience and individuality with adequacy. I thought if I lacked the gifts that my mother so profusely possessed, I could never be like her or make an impact the way she has. However, you do not need to be an exact replica of someone, in order to follow in their footsteps. The lessons my mother showed me, and the inner pull I felt to help and connect with people in the way she did was significant; I was just in too much of a hurry to see that my time and opportunity had not yet matured.  I did not see that I could honor the things my mother taught me to see, understand, and appreciate, and apply that influence in ways that fit my own personal strengths and skill set.align-cute-nurse-shoes-wh0517dis_health04By this epiphany I have learned a lot. Although it is important to examine who we are closely and believe that we all have a specific purpose, even when nothing seems clear; we also have to trust the instincts we inherit from people who impact us, because there is a reason you feel a connection to the mark they leave. Most of all, give yourself time to grow up, mature, and get a little life experience under your belt before expecting your purpose to fall in to place. Some people are born knowing what they want to do, some people’s vision is clear, but some of us need to be patient. We don’t have to fit a mold exactly to follow in someones footsteps. Instead of wishing to be someone you look up to, instead take the lessons and inspirations they raise in you and like ingredient in a recipe, apply them in ways you are good at, making them your own creation. This realization is an eye opening reflection on patience, vision, and in knowing self-worth, specifically as an individual within a heritage. I am so grateful to finally start to see how my own gifts and skills can potentially help others in the way I’ve always hoped for.

So yeah, maybe I am not cut out to be a nurse, but I am cut out to work with people; to understand, comfort, and help them. As it turns out I am also cut out to work with the aging and disabled; since I found myself working with them, I have felt the pieces start to fall into place. I find that I am not only enjoying it and comfortable with it, but I am also very good at it. This is exciting for me as I now start to explore how I can grow within this work. I believe I am blessed to have inherited extremely valuable characteristics from my mom, and because of her influence over my life and the time it took to grow into myself, I have finally discovered a clear vision for my future. It is a purpose specific to me and who I am, but that honors the person who built me up to see and know the elderly and disabled in a beautiful way. It is so comforting to know that although I’m unique, I can fill my mother’s shoes.

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Why Are Women Marching?

This question is being asked a lot, by both men and women, and it completely perplexes me that it even needs to be asked. However, I suppose the fact that it is indeed asked, is part of the very reason right there; not enough people realize that we have not come as far as we think we have in terms of gender equality.


When did good enough become good enough?

Aside from politics and wage issues please just look at your own life; are you really treated as an equal by your male colleagues, your husband, father, friends, brothers, etc. truly equal? If you are (by all of those that apply) then you are very fortunate and I applaud you. However, the majority of women cannot get through that list and count themselves as fortunate. What makes it worse, is that many, possibly even most, of these people believe they do treat the women in their lives as equals. We don’t examine our behavior and/or hold ourselves accountable. People use words like “feminists!” and “crazy women!” like they are dirty words, and it devalues real issues.

 Remember there are extremists in every group, religion, and sect. etc. I acknowledge that there are women who take advantage, or who themselves do not want to be treated as equals; and that there are men who are not like this, who truly value women and treat them as an equal.
But please be certain before you take the credit.

One of the biggest arguments I hear is some variation of this “you can’t do equal work, because it’s a fact that by nature women are not as strong as men.” This could apply at home or work. This statement is extremely naive. The people making it are mistaking gender sameness with gender equality. Woman are not fighting so that they can be treated/viewed like men, they are fighting for the same rights and privileges as men. Maybe there are some women who are, but not all of us. Nobody should be hired for a job they physically or mentally cannot do, male OR female, but their sex itself should not be the reason. There are women who happen to be stronger than the average man, and there are men who happen to be weaker than the average woman. So, if a person is not fit for a job, they should not get that job, but if they are and do, then they should be paid the same and given the same opportunities whether male or female…

The second biggest anti-equality comment I hear is some variation of “women are just complaining, they want to be treated “equally” but they still want guys to pay for dates and open doors for them, and only guys aren’t supposed to hit girls… That’s not equality…” This confuses me even more. When did treating someone with dignity, respect, and/or love, to be kind or affectionate, get confused with equality. Would you hold a door open for an elderly man, but then say “since I did that I am that persons superior, and they do not deserve to be treated as my equal..?” I personally have held open doors for men for one reason or another, this is something that should not be “expected” but merely appreciated when anyone does it. When it comes to assault, assault is assault and is treated so in court, not just when a man hits a woman. No one should ever hit anyone I hope women will start to understand this as well. So, If you don’t want to pay for a woman’s meal, or hold a door open for her, or help her when she can’t lift something you can, then simply don’t… It means more anyway when the gesture comes from someone who is being genuine.

These are some of the gender bias’ and assumptions that women are trying to be free of. Men have them too, and I hope they can break away from them as well. I believe people should also stand up against male gender assumptions and bias’, and that we would be a better society for it. The fight for women’s equality is real and valid. Hopefully more people will start to open their minds more and not just see the fight solely as an extremist feminist battleground.

We all have individualized strengths, weakness’, and needs; and what job we do, what sort of family dynamic we do or don’t choose, and/or the relationship roles we take on, should all reflect those individual characteristics.

It’s about WHO you are not what you are.
~AbbieLu

Give me a break..

For those who choose it, being a parent is a blessing, and most Moms are willing to make sacrifices to be a good one (though it’s normal to try and fail.) However, not getting regular breaks, makes a person less successful, not more successful. So, I would ask the question “Why is it that if a Mom does want/need to work and/or wants/needs to spend time alone reconnecting with herself or her friends, she (more often than not) has to stress and jump through hoops (that usually make it not worth it, if not impossible) but it’s automatically assumed that a father is intitled to these things, and carried out without thought, stress, or hoops..?
~AbbieLu