Being a mother is incredibly tough. It’s a rollercoaster ride. There are good days, there are trying days and there are days that are downright awful. And those days always lead you to find the beauty in life—the beauty of motherhood. But only if you look hard enough.
There is beauty in life and in death, in darkness and in light, in happiness and in sadness. Trust me, there always is. You just have to look hard enough.
Before you roll your eyes and assume this is clichéd and that I’m going to tell you to stare at raindrops on rosebuds and write poetry, no. My message is simple – when things go awry, when life seems too much for you to handle, look away from the negativity that stares straight at you. Look harder into the periphery, and recognise all the love, kindness and goodness that are helping you along the way.
Fred Rogers once said,
When I was boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Lately, this quote has surfaced again, in light of the dire calamities that have been occurring around the world.
And it’s true isn’t it, that every catastrophe that was reported was followed by another report of heroes that stood by those in need. Did they not restore your faith in humanity? Was there no light in darkness? Was there no delight in disorder? Was there no beauty in life?
Likewise, when life gets trying, fight every challenge that comes your way. Fight with all you’ve got. Fight until you win or die trying. In that fight, while you stare into the black of the night and search for answers that you cannot find, look for that one star that shines bright and illuminates the darkness. There is beauty in that star.
Look hard into the night sky and you will find stars and city lights that twinkle. They represent hope and beauty in life.
That star represents all the beautiful people that will help you through your thorny paths.
My friend’s baby fought very hard to stay alive. Every day of his life is an uphill battle. And I asked her how she manages to stay so happy and positive when her child is suffering. She told me that it made her see the beauty in her family and her husband, and how everybody comes together to help the child in his fight. There is beauty in that.
She chooses to see light in the darkest of days. And there is such indescribable beauty in that.
There was a time when I felt like motherhood was getting the better of me. It felt like I hit rock bottom and started questioning everything about myself. Then I received this text from a girlfriend.
“You have your world and theirs [my kids] in the palm of your hand, and I know you’ll make the most out of it all.”
Those words were powerful. Knowing how she said it with such conviction, and from the bottom of her heart, meant so much to me. It gave me the strength I needed to wake up feeling stronger and better the next day. There was beauty in that.
When I was fixated on my flaws and saw the worst in myself, my friend chose to see the best in me and to remind me of it. There is beauty in that.
One day, I uploaded a picture of my child on Facebook. It was in the midst of a challenging period and I had uploaded his picture to cheer me up a little. Here’s the thing – no one knew it was a difficult time for me. Then completely out of the blue, someone sent me this text.
“Thank you for uploading Miguel’s picture. He’s so cute and it made my day seeing him. It was a day that wasn’t going too well but his smile made it so much better.”
I read the message a few times to digest it. Someone was thanking me for uploading a picture of my child? Maybe if it was just a regular day of my life I might have dismissed the message or laughed it off. Maybe I would have been so busy that I would not even have thought anything about it.
But this happened the morning after a very difficult night. And the happenings of the night before made me fully appreciate this kind gesture. It’s not a person I speak to or meet very often. But this text made me realise that this person has always been one of the first to share my happiness or sadness just by looking at my posts on social media.
It made me see how beautiful someone’s heart can be. A heart that gives and shares, without expecting anything in return.
It was late at night, almost 2am. I was picking up some toys that my kids left behind, and checking that their school bags were packed. My phone buzzed. I saw a What’s app message from my girlfriend that read:
Love you babe.
I laughed and asked her why she had sent me such a random message and this is what she replied:
We’ve technically been friends for 26 out of 32 years, so thank you.
She’s one of my best friends but due to our crazy mum lives, we only see each other briefly when we send our kids to school or schedule a brunch session once every couple of months.
She chose to tell me that she loves me. Just like that, for no reason. Isn’t that beautiful?
I could go on telling these stories. I’ll never run out of them. And that’s exactly my point – there is beauty everywhere. And maybe, just maybe, if life is simply a bed of roses, we will never recognise all this beauty.
And I believe, so strongly, that as much as life is hard and throws us into situations we never want to be in, it is also a beautiful cycle of perpetuating and receiving goodness and positivity.
We all know how hard it is being a woman. The last thing we should do is to exacerbate this difficulty by judging, shaming or competing with the women around us, or by assuming that all the women that surround us are doing that.
I urge you to pause tonight, and shift your focus to the goodness and beauty around you. If you’re in the midst of a difficult time, allow this beauty to reach you and touch your soul. Appreciate it.
If things are going well for you, then take that step to be that mum who makes another mum’s life better. Go forth and contribute to the beauty in another woman’s life. You have no idea how much it could possibly mean to her.
Great things happen when women stand by one another. Goodness and positivity prevail and make this journey of motherhood a tad bit easier, and a whole lot more beautiful.
And yes, there is also beauty in raindrops on rosebuds, sunrises and sunsets, rainbows and dandelions.
There is beauty everywhere. Look hard, find it and believe in it.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore
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