Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Mother Or Not, I Have Me



MOTHER OR NOT, I HAVE ME

Years ago at one of these one day seminars, the speaker asked everyone in the audience to write 10 words that described us. He gave no other hints. Unsure if we were 'getting it right,' everyone listed 10 words. It was an interesting exercise and, if it appeals to you, do it now before reading on.




The results were quite different depending on who was making the list, and quite insightful. There are many ways that we can view ourselves. Some put down wife, mother, brother, etc. Others focused on their work personna - Vice President, accountant, secretary, etc. Others on their mood - happy, sad, lively, friendly, etc. Some on their activities - bowler, pitcher, hunter. I used words like catalyst, which I try to be, and writer, as well as friend.

The point is that we all have a view of who we are or would like to be. What is important I think is to be aware that what each of us has at any given time in life is ourself. Whatever it is that we do well, or even just try to do well, it is what we are. I want to rejoice in what I am. I am not as good, or as thin, or as energetic as I'd like to be. But I am satisfied that I am a good person, never wanting to hurt anyone, and wanting to be a positive influence in others' lives. I bet most of us feel that. It's important to celebrate that, and to celebrate ourselves.

 

As a writer mailing out to 80,000 homes a month, my columns have allowed others glimpses into my life, both the joys and the sorrows. I've always believed that at the core we are all alike and am not ashamed to share what I view as common emotions. And some of my life has been very public. Therefore, people often say to me, 'You've really been through a lot!' My answer is, 'Everyone has.'

What we need to avoid doing is beating ourselves up. I've done that in the past from time to time and I don't ever want to do it again. I value others' input, but I'll never let anyone make me 'less than' again. We've all had times when we let ourselves be defined by someone else. This month there are Mothers whose children are ungrateful and hurtful. That is a reflection of the children, not the mothers. On any given day there are friends who give and are taken advantage of, which makes the giver no less valuable. Devoted spouses are betrayed who are not deserving of betrayal. Employees who aren't valued are no less valuable. Most of us have experienced one or more of these heartaches, or something similar. We can just let the hurts go and get on with life. Yes, we can!

 

What we need to avoid doing is beating ourselves up.

As a writer mailing out to 80,000 homes a month, my columns have allowed others glimpses into my life, both the joys and the sorrows. I've always believed that at the core we are all alike and am not ashamed to share what I view as common emotions. And some of my life has been very public. Therefore, people often say to me, 'You've really been through a lot!' My answer is, 'Everyone has.' The only difference is that most people don't know what others' have overcome - or have yet to overcome - in their lives.

There is no shame in being vulnerable. In fact, the more we are able to share with others, the more we will realize how much we are all alike and hopefully be able to stop hurting each other because of some false pride. And the sooner we value ourselves, the sooner we'll be happy . . . Mother or not!





Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.