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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It’s Okay To Be Single..?

Sometimes a person just wants to be single. Why is that so odd?

Now, I realize that biologically we are wired for companionship (that is my belief anyway.) Why does this mean that it is unreasonable, unhealthy, or unbelievable that a person would choose to be single. There are other relationships that can be fulfilling for a quite some time. Also, just because we may be wired for it to eventually happen, does not mean we cannot choose something else.

Just to clarify, I am not referring to dating, seeking, and/or sleeping around without the intention of committing. I am referring to the choice to be without someone romantically, on purpose. Focusing on your own person, whether it be self-care, self-improvement, your education, career, and/or family, etc. Or maybe just maybe someone really just does not want or cannot handle the weight of being caught up in a romantic relationship.

Companionship is very hard, and anyone who says different is either lying or they don’t have a very happy partner. Don’t get me wrong a good companionship is worth all of the effort and time, most things worthwhile take significant work. However, if you are not ready for it and/or cannot handle that responsibility yet, the relationship will be troubled.

Some people are smart enough to know this, and want to take time for their own self growth. However, despite how sensible that seems I am constantly hearing smart, beautiful, funny, etc. women asked “you’re really  _________ so why are you single?”

Now it is not the question that perplexes me, it is the attitude behind the question, or rather the assumption. It is asked with an assuming attitude, that because they are smart, successful, and/or beautiful there must be something wrong. Either something about them is not appealing to others, or they are not making the right choices to land a partner. I don’t see men asked this question. Which does not necessarily mean it doesn’t happen, but it does mean that for no good reason, there is a stigma.

Usually for men the fact that they are single despite good circumstances or breeding does not surprise people. However, there are strong assumptions and stigmas that begin to arise as to his intention. If a man is single (passed a certain age especially,) they begin to earn an insignia (at least among whispers and gossip) that they are either a player and/or afraid of commitment.

Now that may or may not be true for them, but I for one think it is fair to give each man the benefit of the doubt. They may have very good and valid reasons for choosing to take a break from romantic relationships and it’s important to credit them that. Now I am not a man so I am writing this part purely based on observation and speculation. Maybe I am wrong and all single (by choice) men really are just players (but this I doubt.)

These assumptions and stigmas are also really degrading. Neither a woman nor a man should ever feel compelled to base their self worth on the influence of another person. Identity is also something that should be discovered within oneself.  Obviously when we are in relationship, those peoples perspectives, feelings, and actions/words etc. are going to have an effect on us, we are human after all. However, if you found worth and identity on your own to begin with, then they are minor ripples that can be calmed.

It’s important to know your own self worth so that you can protect and respect it. Likewise, finding your identity from within creates a sense of security and balance that make it possible to be at peace. So  do your soul a favor, and keep those waves of uncertainty that can shake you at bay.

So, if you know of someone who is single don’t jump to conclusions or doubt intentions. I don’t think it is necessarily wrong to question someone else about their life choices (when appropriate) but try to accept and commend them for their differences when you can. It is extra important to support someone who is choosing a lifestyle that is not the norm. This is especially important with singles, because they are probably in great need of camaraderie and friendship.

So to you singles who are making the conscientious choose to put off romance for a time, I commend you. Keep working on your life and take pride in who you are as an individual. The time you spend building yourself will be well worth it. When the timing is right for you to share yourself and time with another person you will be all the wiser and more balanced for it.

      ~AbbieLu

In the Meantime make time to relax and rejuvenate.

I LOVE essential oils! 
My favorite way to enjoy
them is in a diffuser, it so
beautiful and calming.