Do you remember a moment during your childhood when you saw your parents as invincible? I vividly recall a night in Mexico when my mom became my wonder woman. We were on vacation and staying at my grandfather’s home when I wake up from a deep sleep to a ruckus. Once I gained all of my five senses, I noticed my moms silhouette holding my uncle’s gigantic butchering knife. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. The translucent door began shaking as I noticed a man behind it, persistently attempting to barge in. I stood on the bed ready to take my little brother somewhere safe if things escalated. My mother was fierce and courageous, like a lioness protecting her cubs!
As I have been getting older, so has my mother.
The once fierce lioness is still a lioness, but she is not invincible. My mom’s wounds, scars, and shortcomings are more noticeable to me. There is a part of me that had to come to terms with my mom being imperfect. One day it hit me: my mom is human. She struggled just like everybody else and just because she had the title and role of a mother did not mean she was an exception. I was able to relate to my mother which helped me connect with her on a new level. I became more compassionate toward her humanity. In turn, my mom was better loved by me. She no longer had to meet the unrealistic standards I set for her. She was free to make mistakes while persevering in improving herself as a daughter of God, a mother, sister and friend.I loved her in spite of her faults!
This new lens I gained allowed my mom and I to create a more authentic relationship. I want you to have this freedom to love your parents as well! So here are some key things I have learned:
- Honor your father and your mother.
It is just to give our mother and father honor and respect. We as their children, have a responsibility to love them in this way because God has given authority to them to guide us in this life. This does not mean you have to be close to your parents, but it does mean they hold a special place of honor in your life. CCC 2197
My mother, by the gift of her life,her birth pangs and the sweat of her brow has raised me! What a gift. Thinking about why I am grateful for my mother helps me focus on her virtues rather than zoning on her vices. Try it.
Our parents will fail us. My mom has failed me. Human love is imperfect, because we are imperfect. When your parents fall, remember –compassion. The word compassion in Latin is compati which means “to suffer with”. Suffer with your father and mother next time they fall. Show them they are not alone on this human journey.
The truth is we all will die one day. In the natural order of life, you will one day not have your parents anymore. When this day comes, do you want to live knowing your mother and father knew they were loved by you? I hope so.