It is a question I get asked all the time …
I have spoken many times about unpacking our examples. In other words, taking the time to look back at the people who influenced us in our formative years, the people that we may be mimicking in our behaviour without even realizing.
Case in point, my Mother. Now my Mother had many amazing qualities, all of which I am happy to replicate but she was human, and she had her own shortcomings and pains as well. For example, my Mother was an abused woman. Like me, her earlier relationships were not of the healthy variety. Growing up as an indigenous woman born in 1927 didn’t help either. The result – my Mom learned to be “invisible” in public. By shrinking herself physically against a wall or behind a door, by not speaking up higher than a whisper, she minimized the chances of her dark skin or voice offending someone. Mom didn’t want to offend anyone, even if it meant there was no space for her outside the sanctuary her home represented.
And as her daughter, I did same. I know that is hard for many of you to imagine, but I did. Not career wise, but personally. Many a man would tell you a first date with me meant he was hanging with a shy, quiet, passive female. NOTHING like the woman I am.
I was mimicking.
But today isn’t about my Mom because today I am celebrating someone I will mimic every day and twice on Sundays! Today, I celebrate the birth of my older brother Ernie. As the “middle children”, we used to love to tell Mom that my eldest brother didn’t “cook long enough” and my youngest brother “cooked too long” but me and Ernie, well, we were “just right!”
Ernie works hard (like Dad did). Ernie loves with all he has (like Dad did). Ernie is honest and personable and very much a people person. We are so much alike in so many ways, even both holding executive positions at one point in our career and today is his birthday.
So today, my friend, mimic those people whose memory and example makes you smile and forgive the others. Unpack what you don’t need so you have room for all the awesomeness Creator has yet to send.
I love you!