Sometimes you can spend your whole life trying to be so different from someone else – only to circle back around and realize – you’re the same kind of different!
I’ve spent my entire life trying to be different from my mother. Different is not always better. Sometimes different is just as bad…but it’s different. Which is what I was going for. I didn’t want to be the same as my mother. I didn’t want to be judged by her actions or be categorized with her. So I’ve always focused on the differences…
She was a rule breaker. I am a rule follower. Sometimes, you should break a few dumb rules.
She was married 5 times for short amounts of time. I have been married 24 years to the same man.
She had very little involvement in my life. I am an active mom in my boy’s lives. One of my favorite things in the world is spending time with my boys…laughing…having deep, real, meaningful conversations… playing board games…watching their sports…just being with them.
When she was messed up she did crazy, awful things and had all kinds of drama. I am the opposite… boring and predictable. Sometimes, you need crazy – crazy fun!
Mother went to the penitentiary. I try to walk the straight and narrow. Sometimes, you need to get off the straight and narrow.
Mother was out of control. I have control issues but they are so much better. Oh, now this can be bad!
She drank a lot. Aside from craziness I did in high school, after having my first baby I hardly drank anything. I was a little freakish about it. I was always afraid I would be just like her. Neurotic!
She got mean and told people ugly things. I tried to be nice and put myself in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes you need to tell people off!
The other night, after a family member’s wedding I posted a couple of pictures of me and my boys. One picture of myself caught my eye. I kept looking at it because it reminded me of my favorite picture of my mother. I only have about 20 pictures of my mother so it’s not like I have a lot to choose from. But this one picture has always been my favorite. It was before she lost herself and before I completely lost her to drugs and alcohol. The more I looked at the picture of me – the more I saw my mother. I had never seen my mother in myself before. I always saw us as total opposites. But as I looked at the picture – I saw the similarities. I used Instagram and put the two pictures side by side. My favorite of her and the one of myself. Wow! Oh my goodness! I could see the resemblance! It was amazing to me how much I looked like her. As I looked at the pictures side by side, I saw the similarities…
Not just our physical features but the important stuff…
I have hopes and dreams – she did too.
I have fears and disappointments – she did too.
I had a strained relationship with my mother – she did too.
I am a nurse – she was too.
I’m not an addict or an alcoholic (I am a sugar addict) – she didn’t want to be either.
I love my boys more than I could ever explain – she loved me too.
I want to be the best mom I could possibly be – she did too.
I want to be a good wife – she did too.
I want to do good things – she did too.
I love nice things – she did too.
I love a clean house – she did too.
I love my family – she did too.
I am an introvert – she was too.
I have a little anxiety at times – she had a lot most all of the time.
I love nature and animals…especially dogs – she did too.
I’m pretty resourceful – she was the most resourceful person I know.
I have a tender heart – she did too.
I hate things that are unjust – she did too.
I hate meanness – she did too.
When Mother was alive, I looked at her and just saw the differences. If people said I looked like her, I didn’t really like it because I saw the ugliness from her behavior because of the drugs and alcohol. I viewed her with a negative filter of what she’d put me through, the disappointments and the hurt. Which was not the most flattering view to look from. But in the last several months, I have looked at my favorite picture of her and seen something different – the sweetness, the beauty, her dreams, her goals and all the beautiful things about her. Like many others, when I look at myself – I see my flaws and see myself in a negative light. But when I looked at the picture of us – side by side, I saw the beauty. I saw all that she wanted to be and I saw all the sweetness she inadvertently taught me. At that moment, I was able to look at her picture in a whole new light. I saw the beautiful similarities. I saw something different in myself. I saw the beauty in all I had been given.
Somewhere along the way – Mother lost her way. Her hopes and dreams were shattered and she was never really able to pick up the pieces. All of my life, I had looked at her as the total opposite of me. I finally saw it – she was the same kind of different as me. It is always so amazing and such a gift when God reveals something to me in his timing – something in a completely different light. Something that has always been right under my nose but I was to busy focusing on something else that I never actually saw it.
What sweetness are you missing because you are so busy focusing on something different?
Finding the sweet side of Crazy!