“If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with the life that you don’t want.” Kevin Ngo
I do not usually like quotes that are somewhat threatening in tone, but I do like this one as it reminds me to be responsible for looking after my life. My life is in my hands and I need to give it meaning and purpose if I want us to flourish.
But looking after my daily life is just part of my personal responsibility. Another part is to make meaning out of my past.
”My mother was the love of my life.” – is a quote from Cheryl Strayed that I embrace warmly.
I adore this sentence so much for so many reasons but mainly for how well it counters our blame-oriented culture of today, the culture that seeks to blame our parents for who we have or have not become. The culture that renders us deficient in will and efficacy because of who our parents were or weren’t. The culture that teaches us to point fingers at the people whose youth, intentions and histories we cannot possibly experience. I think it’s good to work through childhood traumas, it’s good to examine our responses to them, but I do not think that we should succumb to the culture of blame. Because by doing that, we see our childhood as poorer than it actually was. I saw people being poisoned by the blame-oriented mindset more than by their actual childhood experiences. I saw people being stuck for years because of it. ”My mother was the love of my life.” – this sentence does the opposite. It gives meaning and sense to our childhoods. It shows that adults are fragile but also wonderfully capable of loving each other. Capable of loving deeply and dearly, and isn’t it what we all want? To be capable of such love for many people in our lives.
Sometimes I wonder what’s the purpose of the blame-oriented culture. To break, to divide, to render someone insecure. To cause grief? I know that many people would not be able to be so candid about their own mothers as Cheryl Strayed was. I know that for many their childhood experiences are too painful to even hear such words being spoken. But this quote is not only about the mother, right? But about the loves of our life. Beyond the question of our relationship with our parents, it nudges us to ask: What are the loves of our life? What can we do to be truly open to them?