Once you reach a point in your life, you begin to realize all the things you have to be grateful for. This is around the same time you stop getting your mom "hug coupons" for her birthday. Which is why this year, I've chosen to give my mom some of my favorite poems to express that gratitude. It's a thank you for providing the standard I needed to know what it means, and how, to be a woman. Specifically I've chosen Rupi Kaur poems, not only because she writes for her mother with the most love, but because she encompasses what it really means to be a woman as well. These poems illustrate lessons of womanhood, love, and loss, that I originally learned from my mother.
My mom likes to say she believes "The ends justify the means," especially when concerned with parenting. I didn't understand this when I was younger, but after taking only one introduction to philosophy class, I must say I'm an expert. I didn't know this when I was a kid, but "the ends justify the means" is a phrase regarding the moral theory of utilitarianism. In an effort not to oversimplify, this belief is that everything has either instrumental value, or intrinsic value. Money, for instance, would have instrumental value in obtaining something that has intrinsic value (a universal concept possibly like happiness). My mom sees herself as the instrument to provide me with the most intrinsically valuable thing (success, happiness, or just general well-being). Time and time again she has sacrificed herself for me or my sisters. It is both impressive and humbling that someone can be so selfless.
These gorgeous, strong women raise us. They give and give for us to be what we want; for us to achieve what we need to achieve. I have been through plenty in the18 years I have been alive. My mother has been through the same pain and more, yet she never mentions herself. All she wants is to alleviate my suffering without any thought of her own, which is so beautiful.
A summary of what my mother would consider the most valuable of lessons: to live correctly. This is possibly the most ambiguous, yet accurate explanation. A few weeks ago I asked her "What do I do when I want to get to know people, but I'm not comfortable letting them get to know me? How do you tell people about the events that have made you who you are without letting them pity you for having to go through it all?" She responded by basically telling me she's proud I've overcome the obstacles I've been faced with, but sensitivity must be maintained just to live life fully. She's shown me that being cold and distant is not synonymous with being tough and strong.
The women in my family are among the most resilient I have ever met. If I meet a man I am willing to marry, he will be the embodiment of every lesson my mother has ever had me learn. He will support me selflessly, call me on my bullshit, and bring out the best in me. However, I recognize that I can't accept that kind of love until I am as selfless, strong, and full of love as my own mom, if that's even possible.
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