I talk about making choices on this podcast all the time.
I share about paying attention to your thoughts and choosing how you want to feel and choosing thoughts that help you feel that way.
I want to share a story with you today that I found to be a beautiful example of this.
It shows the power of choice. A reminder that we all need. I know I definitely do.
This story was written by Amanda Avutu in an Oprah Daily article. I read it and was mesmerized by it. There were many other great articles but this was the one that hit me the hardest. I hope you enjoy it. Sit back and listen!
“If I ever wondered what my mom wanted for Mother’s Day, all I had to do was visit the fridge and look at the list, written in her exquisite cursive, she’d made for us kids. The first item: L’Air duTemps—or, for those of us who couldn’t yet read, a glossy photo of the perfume cut from a magazine. She was all want, my mother. Particularly when it came to attention. For that, her hunger was insatiable.
There were four of us kids, plus my dad. If one didn’t give her what she desired, she’d move onto the next. If it was your turn, she’d whisper in your ear while everyone was sleeping, “C’mon, let’s go get some coffee!” and you’d know she meant eggs and Taylor ham at the diner, and that there you’d hear some small, revelatory detail about her life that she’d entrust to you and only you. In that moment, nothing else existed.
Not the time she slammed you into the wall for eating leftover Chinese food in their air-conditioned bedroom (the house’s only air-conditioned room) because you knew she was on a diet and the smell made her hungry. Not the time she forgot about pickup and left you at school for hours. Not the time she swore you weren’t invited to that birthday party because, you now suspect, she just didn’t feel like taking you. None of it mattered. She had chosen you, and you were magnificent.
For years I tried to address these injuries—the college financial-aid forms she never filled out; the high tea bridal shower she insisted on planning, during which she consoled me because she hadn’t invited any of my friends—but that was impossible: She either didn’t remember these events or wouldn’t allow herself to. It was like arguing with an amnesiac.
The solution, it turned out, was death. At 59, my mother suffered a massive heart attack and died several weeks later. I left the hospital one night and she still existed; I fell asleep, woke to a telephone call in my darkened bedroom, and learned she no longer did. On a rainy September day, we gathered to bury the mom who had hurt me repeatedly, deeply, forgetfully. That was when my own amnesia began to lift: I remembered good things, not just the bad. I remembered the mom who taught me to add a pat of butter to tomato sauce, who befriended every waiter who served her, who made a pros-and-cons list with me when I was deciding which job to take after college, who invited lonely strangers to our Thanksgiving dinners. This was the mom who put a map on her wall when I drove across the country and used colored thumbtacks to track my route, accepting my collect calls the whole way. The mom who could make me believe I was wondrous because she was looking at me, smiling, offering me an adventure. This is the mom I chose to save.
In one memory, it’s dark out. I have homework. I know the gas is expensive. “Let’s go for a drive,” she says—her antidote to any pain, this time mine. She backs out of the driveway and onto the main road, throws the car into drive, cranks up “Space Oddity.” Soon instead of houses there are trees, then only blackness. My mom and I are hurtling through space, singing.
I loved her then with wild abandon, with no hurting or wanting between us. Now every time I belt out “Magic Man” like she did, or befriend my waiters, I’m choosing the best version of my mom. I conjure the best grandmother for my children. I make her magnificent.” The end.
Beautifully written, right?
This is the power of choice.
The woman telling this story made a choice to make her not-so-perfect mother, magnificent.
She made the choice after her death and all the good memories seemed to outweigh the bad.
I’ve experienced this with people in my life who have passed away.
The good memories do float to the top.
We all know that life is full of mistakes and hurts that affect us.
But we have more choice in the matter than we realize.
What if we decided to remember the good more than the bad BEFORE a loved one passes away.
What if we chose to remember good times with friends and family that happened BEFORE a hurtful comment was made and we severed a relationship with them.
Even if it’s not received, it’s a gift you can give yourself.
When your thoughts are positive, you just feel better.
It’s not wishful thinking, it’s the chemical response in your own body that you feel because of those positive thoughts, remembering the good versus the bad.
It’s a gift you give yourself when you direct your thinking this way.
Why not give yourself a gift this holiday season and as the New Year rolls in?
This is yet another example of how taking care of the relationship with yourself helps you to have better relationships with everyone else.
If you haven’t taken the 4 Tips to Improve Any Relationship Workshop yet, I’d like to remind you to do that today! It’s easy to get and it’s FREE. Go to https://hunkeedori.com/4Tips and I’ll send it directly to your inbox. I have shared easy ways to change your relationship with yourself so you look at all other relationships differently. You’ll get worksheets to help you practice these tips but more than that, you will feel better. Your life will be filled with more peace than you might expect and that is what removes the feeling of being OVERBURDENED more than anything else. Give it a try!
Thanks for joining me here today and remember:
I see you.
I understand how hard you’re trying and I’d like to help however I can.
I’ll see you back here again next week.