So many times I’ve talked with my mother about the fears we struggle with during our lives and the things we learn to overcome, let go of or are scared to deal with.

In my eyes, my mother is one of the strongest women I know. I admire the life she has created, the family matriarch she is to my siblings, her grandchildren and me, the deep love, compassion and non-judgement she lives by.

I love her for the journey she herself has embarked and is embarking on through her life on this planet. If anyone reminds me of inner transformation, it is my mother.

Like me and many others, my mother too is a woman who has an inner survivor coming alive when fears take over the reigns in our bodies and minds. She made me understand so many times, the immense discrepancy we can encompass in one person: being a strong, confident woman and a terrified one all at the same time.

When I grew up, the strong, confident side was all I knew about my mother.

The day I was born, I was just a new little human on this planet. I had no idea who my mother was. What she liked to do in life, which experiences had shaped her into the young woman she was when she became pregnant of me at age nineteen. What her life was like when she was a little girl. I had no idea. To me she was my shelter. My hero. Warm, loving and close.

I had no idea that the fear that lived inside of her made her unable to speak up at the bakery to order a loaf of bread. To me she was my mom, who’s hand I held in a bakery full of very scary tall people.

I had no idea that her fear of the dark was way bigger than my innocent 6-year old fears at night. She was my mom and she just always came in and turned on my night light.

I had no idea that the monsters in her head where a thousand times bigger then the green dragon in my closet or the purple witch in my father’s car. She was my mom and she just chased my monsters away. Always.

I had no idea, that while I grew up and learned to step into the big scary world of kindergarten and elementary school, she learned to do just the same in a world full of adulting.

My mother had simply been my anchor.

The woman my eyes searched for when I found myself in an unfamiliar environment. The woman I dared to challenge because it was safe to do so. My mom, whose love and strength I simply never questioned because she was as constant and warm as the sun in the sky.

And so, as I watched my mother’s unquestioned bravery, she taught me how to be strong. How to overcome. How to go on. How to believe in myself.

During my teenage years things took a hard spin. Life did what life does sometimes and our roads split up when I was thirteen years old and moved to my father. I loved and hated my mother during those years. So much happened in the life of the young teenager I was and I was terrified. And although I didn’t know then, my mother was terrified too.

It was only once I started doing my own adulting, pregnant at age nineteen and a mother at twenty, just like her, that I started realizing where my mother had come from and what it takes to come to terms with a young life riddled with challenges, trauma and struggle. Because we share both those experiences too.

Now, two women aged sixty and forty, we find ourselves embracing the beauty of who we both have become, while being on a journey of reconciling our individual and shared pasts.

We’ve changed and transformed since our roads diverged. We lost so much then, but found so much more in return.

So, to my mother…

May you always find the strength and vulnerability to continue to be the powerhouse you’ve always been. May you step into your own light again and again, whatever is in your way, and shine your beauty into the world. May you always know about yourself that you are the big bright sun, in a universe of love, possibilities and creation.
And thank you, a million times, for teaching me how to do the same.

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