Internal Compass

I learned a new word today that made me laugh! Matrophobia: The fear of growing up to be like one’s mother. If I had a dime for every time I have said, “Oh, no! I sound just like my mother” – I would be worth millions. Many years ago, I think women did not want to turn out like their mothers, but with me that is a very foreign feeling.

Women are told they must be strong and assertive, and that’s fine, but you need other components also to have a satisfying life. You need kindness and compassion. My mother taught me all of those things. Mothers seem to be an internal compass for daughters. The best gift a mother can give a daughter — and, as she becomes an adult, that a daughter can give her mother — is permission to be herself. My mother did just that, and I strive to do the same.
I recently came across and article(I wish I could remember where to give appropriate credit) When you’re five, she’s a goddess. You smear your face with her lipstick and model her earrings and high heels, wanting to be just like mommy. That’s the way it is until you’re about thirteen, when she suddenly becomes the most ignorant, benighted, out-of-touch creature on the planet, and you can’t get far enough away from her. Your primary form of interaction for the next five years or so will be a single word, “Mooooooooooooommmmmmm!” And then, somewhere between your twenties and your thirties, if you’re lucky, she becomes your best friend again.
It made me ponder a little about my own role – how can I help to turn these astonishing little girls into an extraordinary young women? Independence? Strength of self? Instilled compassion? All of these things really. It goes back to my Roots and Wings post earlier – giving them both the roots to grow as individuals, and wings to let them be that individual. If I am lucky, these girls will rely upon me as their “true North” just as I do with my own mother.
One of my favorite organizations is Care – an organization that places focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. A statement on their site (found below) impacted me about the women & girls in my own life…


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