Having just spent a few days at Mom’s house, it is often a treacherous path to navigate not knowing what sudden mood shift (in her) may occur and leave me dangling perilously off the side of a narrow footpath I travel when in her presence, ready to plummet to my own demise.
There were surprisingly no dangerous elements that appeared and the visit was pleasant. I even experienced an extremely rare phenomenon; praise.
With a bit of dumbfounded shock at receiving praise, momentary silence and confusion stilled my being as I looked in her direction. I soon smiled and replied; Thank you! My mind reflected on the time that I learned of the concept of ‘modeling’, not where you are photographed and splashed on glossy magazine pages and covers. The kind of modeling where you behave in a way that sets an example for others (to hopefully imitate).
Many years back, I had taken the approach to compliment and praise mother on her ability to navigate her own difficult life’s journey. In my family there were never ( that I can recall ) praises or compliments. When I spoke these kind, supportive words to her that first time she responded by laughing at me, as though she thought I was putting her on or pulling her leg.
I would repeat the kind words over the months and years and she no longer laughed but began to listen, to hear me. Then, one afternoon I was driving her somewhere while I was staying over for a visit and out of no where she said; ” I am proud of you “.
My mind said, “What?!?” I felt a deep sense of shock and disbelief as the words lingered in the air within the automobile, I started to question myself at what I just heard and then dismissed my doubts and jumped in with a heartfelt, stunned “thank you.” Wow! At 50 y.o. I got what I had always wanted from my mother, praise. Only wish I hadn’t been behind the wheel and could have crashed from the shock of it all. It was a real big moment, in my mind and heart.
That ‘modeling’ concept works!