While I considered blogging this morning about my weekend working with clients in the field as wing-girl, I decided it can wait until tomorrow. Foremost on my mind today is this; today marks 12 months since my mom passed away after her 9-month battle with lung cancer. While I know you come to this website to receive insights into dating and how to effectively bring love into your life, I thought I would share one of the most important lessons I learned from my mother. A lesson she would teach you if she could. In fact, she would probably invite you into her kitchen, sit you down at the circular glass table in the nook, then chat with you effortlessly while she prepared something spectacular for you to eat from her well-stocked freezer, refrigerator and pantry.
I could write a novel filled with the lessons my mother taught me. She taught me that two wrongs don’t make it right. She taught me to be nice. She taught me to write thank you notes. She taught me to have levels when setting a buffet table. She taught me to hire help to clean up after, whenever possible. She taught me to be an energizer bunny. She taught me to be a free-spirt. She taught me knit one, purl two, crack and bam. She taught me to say yes. She taught me that resting is possibly overrated when done too often. She taught me that using china can make a dinner party an event people will long remember. There’s more. My mom gave me her great genes, olive, smooth skin, delicate hands, long fingers, a pretty face that I have been blessed to pass to my children.
And while my mother gave me all these incredible gifts, I never stopped to really think of them as gifts until three years ago. It was during a residential spiritual retreat called the Hoffman Process that I stopped, finally, to take a look inside myself to uncover what I really had learned from my parents, and most importantly, to find some connection to my mother. Pegged as the clone of my father for my entire life, I was frusterated by my inability to connect with my mother, the women was was the mistress of making connections. What was missing? And then, a miracle occurred. Right there, in the middle of the redwoods in Napa, California. It hit me. Compassion. My mother’s compassion for others was immense, yet I had not yet found the ability to be compassionate, to myself, or to others. For days I dug deeply, searching desperately for what I knew my mother had given me. And then, the miracle. Compassion. There it was, alive in me. In fact, I was compassionate. And I could learn from her to exercise that compassion. To make that compassion strong, powerful, and as alive in me as it was in her. And in developing this compassion for others I came to have compassion for her. Compassion for all she sacrificed so that everyone – every single person she touched would be happy and feel loved – unconditionally. She wasn’t weak. She was powerful. She could put aside any difference to see the beauty in each person. To see their soul. She saw mine, even when I was not my best or highest self. When I was in high school and she received the brunt of troubles, my mother loved me. Unconditionally. My mom could find the best in a person, in any situation, no matter what they had done, and hold them high on a pedestal—honoring them in all his or her glory. Upon completing the Hoffman Process on that Friday in December, 2006, I rushed…literally running to my room to pick up the phone.
“Mom,” I said. “I love you. Many times I pushed your love away. I know this hurt you..and for this…I’m so sorry.”
To this my mother replied in her beautiful strong voice, filling with sweet relief, “It’s what I wanted Marni. I only wanted you to let me love you.” My mom wanted little. She just wanted people to let her love them, and as those who knew her first-hand can tell you, it was so very very easy to do.
It was then that I truly came to marvel at, and admire her incredible sensitive side, and a heart so big I thought it might burst with love. So, what will I take with me, share with you? What gift of all these gifts? It’s the gift of connection. Connection to others through compassion. For if I can have compassion than I can honor my mother, and live my life as she would, so that as she watches over me, she smiles and says as she did whenever she taught me something new,
”Perfect…marni….that was perfect.”