The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

It’s Official…I’m Becoming Me

I've Become My MotherI see it on tee shirts and plaques in women’s magazines and catalogs.  It often includes a humorous picture of a frazzled woman and it reads something like “It’s Official…I’ve Become My Mother!”

The slogan doesn’t make me laugh, it makes me cringe.  This is nothing against my mother, or any mother, it’s just that being surprised by someone else’s words or opinions coming out of our mouths isn’t a joking matter.  It’s a sign that work needs to be done. 

Of course, it isn’t just our mothers.  I hear my father’s words in my head much more often than my mother’s.  That “What about me?” whine is familiar and disturbing – I know it both as the whiner and the receiver.  We can also pick up attitudes and habits from friends, co-workers, siblings – pretty much anyone who has influence over us or who we admire.

When our expressions, habits, feelings and attitudes are borrowed, our own personalities are left unrecognized and undeveloped.   We become a copy of others, and when it’s our parents we can even end up stuck in a past generation’s mindset.  Who we might have been, the contributions that we might have made, are lost as we go through life ignoring our unique selves for the bland face of imitation.

I’m not suggesting that we abandon everything we’ve learned from others.  I will always make my Mother’s tacos, read suspense novels like my Father, think of my Grandmother’s home as I decorate mine.  Even today I find myself using the same phrases as my friend Michael to communicate how I feel.  The difference is that I’m aware of it, I’ve consciously decided to use what I’ve learned from these people in my life – I haven’t substituted their thoughts and opinions for my own.

So if you find that you’ve “become your mother” the solution is simple, just pause a moment and check in with what’s really meaningful to you.  You might find that “What about me?” becomes “What’s going on with you?”  or “Don’t let the screen door slam!” becomes “What did you discover in the back yard?”

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10 responses to “It’s Official…I’m Becoming Me

  1. Raj January 7, 2011 at 7:10 am

    What did I discover in my back yard? I discovered a place that draws me again and again. I place that I can be made more whole. It is a place that teaches and instructs without the criticism, that calls me to be better. (How does that work again?) Yes, I discovered in my back yard… The Easy Place.

    I love it, Mindy!

    Raj

  2. Denise Moscone January 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Wow!! I now have a whole different perceptive on ME. I never liked that pharse, “I’ve become my mother”. Not because I do not like my mother because I really would miss her if she were not around. I love my mother very much and talk to her at least 4 times a week. But I want to be ME and not her. The next time I find myself saying, acting or doing something that reminds me of my mother, I am going to pause and find ME.
    Denise

    • Melinda January 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      How nice to hear from you Denise! And I absolutely agree with what you’re saying – this isn’t about our mothers, its about making sure that we live up to our own potential. What a waste it would be if we spent our lives trying to be someone else.

      Take care,

      Melinda

  3. Dawnika January 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Who am I? That is the question!

    You know what would be a strange blog idea? I would never do it but it would be cool if someone did. It would be great if someone would ask the question “who am I?” And then video tape themselves 24 – 7 and have a 3rd party interview friends and family, and passers by about that person, and I’m take personality tests and etc to try to answer that question. Would they know even after all that? Maybe not. It’s quite a question but we must find that it is worth getting to know ourselves!
    I don’t know who I am but I will think of you when I’m decorating my house, because you have very good taste! So I guess your grandma has good taste too! :)

    • Melinda January 11, 2011 at 9:04 am

      What an interesting idea, Dawnika! You’d sure get a great idea of how you look to other people and your impact on the world.

      For an internal assessment of who you are you could flip it by scanning your thoughts and opinions throughout the day. Questions like “My co-workers think this is funny – what do I think?” or “My family thinks this is important – what do I think?” would help you identify who you are in the midst of the others around you.

      And I’m glad you like my house :)

      <3 Mindy

  4. Dawnika January 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks Mindy! That is something to think about! Very interesting…

  5. Dawnika January 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Awesome! I’m excited to see it!

  6. Pingback: A little humor today… « Remembering the Shoals

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