21 May 2007

Woman to Woman: Celebrating me!

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We (women) tend to focus so much on our weaknesses and often blow them out of proportion. But our strengths, the things we are good at, go unnoticed, especially by ourselves. I know there are times when I have feared that my confidence may come across as arrogance. It's taboo to assert your successes as a parent! And even in general, I think women are very careful about how much credit or attention they give to themselves. But we all certainly deserve praise and recognition. And so, right on the heels of Mother's Day, this "Woman to Woman" is an opportunity for us all to admit that we are amazing, and to share our strengths with one another.


I think that perhaps my most valid accomplishment as both a mom and a woman has been to stop the cycle of abuse that I grew up with. I spent many years as a young adult worried and doubtful that I could be a strong woman, a good wife and a confident mother. There is an undeniable possibility, and I think anyone who has ever been abused would agree, that you will fall into the pattern you know; that you will become the example you were given. So for me to rise above that nagging and relentless posssibility and be at a point in my life where I've accepted the awful things I've been through, but chosen to discard them and embrace only the positive, makes me very proud of who I've become.

As a mother, this pride is helping me to instill several important qualities in my children: compassion, emotional confidence, faith, positivity. And the ways in which I do this are by providing a warm environment in our home, one that allows them to be themselves; to love and feel freely. I let them know they are the light of my life just by the smile I give them when they walk into the room. I want them to see in my face the joy they add to my life. I want them to know that I am proud of even the little things that they do. And I put all my effort into all that I do - for them, for me, for my husband - showing them that 100% of your effort, in all that you do, is important and vital to a positive attitude.

I have not only consciously stopped a vicious cycle from continuing, but I've spoken out against it, by deciding early on that I will not be that poor girl, but that I will be an amazing woman and mother, taking only the good part with me, and embracing it as if it were all that existed. I have exemplified forgiveness for my children, a priceless gift. They do not now know the details of the awful things I have been through. But one day they will find out. They will read these words. And they will see me in a different light. They will see life in a different light. Their ability to forgive will be in place, as should their ability to always find "that good part".

Morning Glory and I hope that this particular topic will draw lots of participants, because as we can plainly see, there are many, many incredible and inspirational women out there that need to be celebrated! So please, add your name and link to your post. Leave me a comment and visit Morning Glory at Seeds From My Garden, as well.

27 comments:

An Ordinary Mom said...

You have overcome so much adversity in your life. You have every reason to celebrate you. You are amazingly strong and your children are very blessed to have you as their mother! We could all take lessons from you on on forgiveness, compassion and what it means to truly love and have courage.

Jen said...

"I think anyone who has ever been abused would agree, that you will fall into the pattern you know; that you will become the example you were given."

This is so true, breaking the cycle of abuse or violence is probably one of the hardest challenges life can dish out. *hugs*

florinn said...

It sounds like you really have risen above and turned it into a blessing for your family.

Code Yellow Mom said...

This is a very touching post and an incredibly remarkable attribute and strength to celebrate! Thank you for sharing, and for being a role model in rising above past pain to make your life with your own children something beautiful and strong!

Amber said...

You are a strong woman. Stopping such a cycle is one of the toughest things in the world to overcome. How a blessing and inspiration you are to your children and those around you!

meta said...

lei,
i know we haven't been in regular contact for years but i admired your determination and strong spirit in college. not only were you very, very cool but you are compassionate and kind. i feel honored to call you friend.

Dawn said...

Thank you for coming over and leaving such kind words. I don'T know a lot about your past, but I can tell you are stronger for it. Good for you and for your family!!

Morning Glory said...

Beautiful, Lei. Passing on the understanding of forgiveness and compassion to your children is probably one of the greatest things you can do. I always find such wisdom and clarity in what you write.

Cmommy said...

A beautiful post---you've made me pause and really think. {{}}

Sunny said...

Thank you for your post. I really look up to you.

utmommy said...

You really are an amazing person. I can't believe all that you've overcome and the positive attitude that you have about it all. Your children are SO lucky to have you as a mother.

Retha said...

It is wondelful to 'rise above' what your experiences was!
May your family see more and more the valuable person you are!!!

Susie said...

Hi Lei,
Although I'm not a victim of abuse, my mother in law was. I wrote a post about what she went through, and how she broke free. If you'd ever like to read it, I'll send you the link...
You have obviously overcome many things and are now living a life of wonderful example to your children.
Thanks to you and MG for hosting..
hugs!

Linda said...

What an amazing gift you are giving your family. You have done so well. I know it would have been all too easy to fall into that destructive cycle. You have broken it and will now give to your children a legacy of love, forgiveness and grace. It is miraculous and wonderful.

Julie said...

Thanks for your post Lei. And thank you for giving us this topic to think about. It was something I needed to think about.

Tigersue said...

I was going to join you in this today, but my daughter was in a car accident this morning.

Anonymous said...

I find myself wondering why you constantly find the need to define yourself as an abuse victim. It sounds like there is so much more to you and your life story than just being a survivor. Celebrate yourself for all you have become without putting this label on yourself. I think you will truly break free from it when you no longer need to be defined by it. It's a part of you but it doesn't have to be the biggest part.

Lucy said...

Thanks Lei. I think you're great. You know yourself better than anyone else and I think it takes courage to take on this assignment, be honest about it, and not very courageous to annonymously tell you to how you should be.

Stacy said...

Thanks for helping me feel better about one area of my mothering!

Lee said...

Lei, you are an inspiration. I am in awe of you and of your strength. Thanks for sharing.

Christina said...

Thank you for your beautifully written post and for hosting this project. We need to remind ourselves more often what wonderfully strong women we all are!

Lei said...

Anonymous - I suppressed my feelings and was in denial over this until I was 26 years old. And then over the course of 2 years, with counselling, slowly began to open up about it. And for a long time it defined who I was NOT. I have made this a positive thing for myself; it certainly does define who I am, when so much of my life has been built upon the strength I have gained from overcoming it. I realize it is not the only thing that defines who I am. I think my year and a half's worth of posts clearly show that.

Terina said...

i enjoyed reading yours, and i really liked writing on this subject. thanks lei!!

Vlyb said...

Anonymous - remembering WHAT we have survived is what keeps us on the strong path and reminds us of where we've come and how we became the epitomy of strength that we are. While I appreciate your comment, I think it is impossible to understand why a survivor of abuse must always carry that with her...not in a sad way, but in a way that honors those struggles. I'd would have rather you commend my friend for this...not chosen to confront her about something in her soul that you don't understand.

Lei - I admire you so much! As a survivor myself I know where you've been and how hard it has been to break that cycle. I am the one and only person to break that cycle within my family, and though it was rich in reward, it was raw and harsh and forced me to relive so much! God Bless You!!!

emlouisa said...

You have such a strength about you, Lei. I can't wait to throw my arms around you one day and tell you how grateful I am to have your example in my life.

Gran - (Angela) said...

Thank you so much for the topic for this week. I think as woman to woman we have seen how each of our Celebrate Me writings has been a blessing to many readers. A HUGE HUG from me to you !

Myrna said...

You are a beautiful example to others who have suffered abuse. Your intentional positive attitude is assuring the next generation a much brighter path in life.