That right there: the tongue slightly protruding. That is my mother. And her mother.
I love the picture above. It looks like me. It reminds me of the mini diva since she used to always stick her tongue out. And I simultaneously hate it since that is my mother.
My mom is a beautiful lady. I have her nose and mouth and cheekbones. I’m pretty sure everything else is from my dad’s side. The fact that I hate how much I favor her is ridiculous since I find her so beautiful. (Am I overusing that word? Probably. But it fits her.)
I remember when I was in my adolescent years I hated looking like my mom. She and I fought so much that when I saw her in the mirror I hated me. Even now I don’t love that I look like her; but that’s got nothing to do with what she actually looks like. Why do I do that? Why throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water? And I do it with more people than just my mother.
Things get hard and I get hardened. Someone says something offensive and I never want to talk to them again for as long as I live. I believe that the offender meant to hurt me and damage me. I know I’m not alone.
I was recently “unfriended” on Facebook by a lady. It’s happened before and I’m sure it will happen again. I’ve been trying this new thing where I actually communicate with the people I have either offended or have offended me and try to reconcile the relationship. Or at least bring some kind of resolution.
Her reason for unfriending me? She was embarrassed by something she did. And I made too big of a deal of it by being hurt or asking her about it. That she often gets taken the wrong way. Then she asked what I wanted her to do about it. I’m not sure what I wanted: but I wanted a different response from what I got. The conversation ended with me just telling her to know that her actions affect other people because she is important to them.
I’m glad for the communication with her but it was like we were speaking two different languages. Entirely different languages. Opposite languages. The words just wouldn’t mesh. And that’s okay. It has to be since I can’t change it. 😉
That’s how I know I’m not alone: other people want to just erase all evidence of their hurts too. But that doesn’t mean you act on it: it doesn’t make it right to just rub people with an unfriend eraser like they never mattered to you at all.
My face is my mom to a T. Mini diva is her own and perfect and wonderful in every way. Little Larry was still baking in this picture.
… every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
I’m afraid that my teeth will be set on edge because of someone else’s mistakes. I take their foolishness as my own and instead of recognizing that that’s not God’s plan for me.. I eat the grapes. And I do my best to erase the memories by deleting the pictures that remind me of the person’s grapes I choked down. By hiding the pictures that show how much I favor my mom and her mannerisms. By scolding myself when I sing the songs she used to sing to me to my kids. (I’m pretty sure they were all made up by her. I make songs up for my kids too.)
I fight that urge. And I’ve grown immensely in this area. I take risks like asking if my perceptions are true. I see that people are… people. People I can learn from and people that I can learn to love beyond their folly or bitterness. And it’s okay to not write them off, it’s a good thing to love them, and sometimes it’s a good thing to love them with boundaries in place.
That’s my mom and me at one of my bridal parties. I couldn’t find one with her tongue stuck out.
My mom is funny. She is creative. She is smart. And yes, she is beautiful. I like to think that we can glean the good from our parents and leave the weeds. I like to think my kids will do that with me: take the good stuff, leave the waste. I like to think that’s the way my mom believes. That she wants me to hold on to the good she had to offer and to feel okay with leaving the sour grapes.
I can do that with my unfriends, too. (Yes, I’ve been unfriended more than once. By people I loved a whole lot.) Take the good from it and leave the yuck.
… but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
Philippians 3:13 NLT
The yuck stuff; the stuff that weighs you down? Forget it and look towards what lies ahead. Those unfriendships and those offenses? Take the good from it and move ahead to what’s next for you. Keep moving forward. It’s okay to look like your family: you aren’t them. You are your own self; free to make your own mistakes, free to achieve your own successes. Even if you stick your tongue out while doing it.
I’m pretty sure this is all me.