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On day 19 of the 30 Days Blessed Challenge, we’ll talk about honoring our parents.
This can be a touchy subject for some. You may be spending your holiday without Mom or Dad, or both. If so, please feel free to skip this exercise if it’s too painful for you.
Some people grew up without a mom or a dad. For them, maybe it’s a Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, or another stand-in parental figure who took on the job of raising them. In this rumination, you can spend time formulating good thoughts for the person or people who helped shape you. We’ll just call them Mom or Dad in this exercise, to simplify things a bit.
If you had the good fortune of being surrounded and supported by parents who were as close to perfect as is humanly possible, then celebrate Mom and Dad for everything they were and are to you.
Exercise: Honoring the Truth Your Parents and How They Influenced the Person You’ve Become
When you think of your mom, what words come to mind? What kind of woman was she, as a mother to you growing up?
- Was your mom a soft-voiced person who took care of everything from a quiet place in the background?
- Was she a bit of a dramatic figure who wasn’t afraid to express her opinions? Did Mom rule with an iron fist in a velvet glove?
Whatever your mom’s personality, we all have those “parent tapes” that play in our heads any time we’re faced with a challenge.
The Voice of Your Mom
Some people joke that there’s a devil on one shoulder, and an angel on the other. But really, the person’s voice whom you probably hear in the back of your mind during all your decision-making is your mother’s isn’t it!
- So what types of things did your mom say?
- Do you say those same phrases to your children now if you have kids?
- What did Mom say that you liked to hear? What other things did she say that may have bothered you, and why?
Whatever your Mom said, she must have done some things right to help you grow into the fine person you are today.
So today, for just a little while, think about the job your mother must have had to take on while rearing you as a child. Be grateful for the ways your relationship with your mother has influenced you positively.
Even if some episodes with your mother stood out as being more negative than positive, look into your own personality and explore how relating with your mom has caused you to behave in certain ways in your adult life.
Surely your mom has influenced the choices you’ve made, by what she did and said or even what she did not do or did not say. That’s something to be grateful for.
Same Exercise Using Your Dad
Repeat this exercise for your dad. At certain times, you can probably hear your dad’s voice making suggestions on choices. Or perhaps just providing in with a running commentary.
- What types of things did your father say to you growing up?
- How did his remarks, instructions or admonishments make you feel?
- What actions did you take (or not take) based on the influence of your father?
- What was Dad good at doing? Did you enjoy doing things together?
Be grateful for having had a father, or a father-figure, to help you gain insights into the person you wanted to grow into. Be grateful that your Dad had a hand in who you became.
Set aside a half-hour or more today, to pen some good words about your mom, dad, or both. If you’re a parent, write about the things you plan to carry forward thanks to the the way your parents raised you.
If you had some bad experiences being parented by your mother, father or both, then try this. Recognize your mother and/or father as being human and fallible. Know that they only had so much to work with – the self esteem that was given to them (or denied them) by their own parents, or parent-figures.
Did you have trouble relating with your Mom or Dad when you were young? Try to think of them as just another set of people instead of assigning them this larger-than-life role that we sometimes give them. You can even write them a letter expressing how they made you feel. (You don’t have to send it – this is meant to be cathartic.)
If you parents did wrong by you, forgive them for it. To do this will set you free, and open the door to positive experiences.
You don’t have to be best friends with your mom or dad. (But if you are best friends, then that’s great!)
If your parents did right by you, then be grateful. Tell them thank you for doing the best they could.
30 Days Blessed Challenge
- Day 1: Attitude of Gratitude
- Day 2: Accentuate the Positive
- Day 3: Slow Down
- Day 4: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
- Day 5: A Cup of Self-Reflection
- Day 6: Give Thanks for the Simple Things
- Day 7: Hard Times Help Us Appreciate the Good
- Day 8: Nourish Your Soul
- Day 9: Surprise Gifts
- Day 10: Celebrating the “Moments between the Moments”
- Day 11: Take Your Cue from a Child
- Day 12: Appreciating the Wisdom of Our Elders
- Day 13: Grateful for Your Family in All Their Beautiful Imperfection
- Day 14: Commune With Nature
- Day 15: Grateful for Your Powerful, Miraculous Body
- Day 16: Grateful for Your Powerful, Amazing Mind
- Day 17. People with Special Needs Remind of What’s Really Important
- Day 18: Grateful for Creature Comforts
Loving Life — The Reboot!