Confused by Encouragement

I’ve always been encouraged and pushed to succeed. Not in an unhealthy way but in a normal, “you can do this” sort of way. I also have always responded to it. It had the desired effect on me. I push and continue to push myself to succeed. If I am afraid to do something I figure that means I really need to do it- as much as I don’t want to, I will force myself.

What is strange though is I am not sure where I got this from, this trait. Mom is one of the biggest people who has always pushed and encouraged me. She pushed me onto a plane to study abroad, she left my 18 year old crying self at my dorm room freshmen year of college, she moved me to another state for graduate school- she did all of these things because she knew I’d be okay and knew I needed to do them.

But the strange part is the same does not exist in the reverse where Mom is concerned. Mom does not operate this way. If we try to push her to do more where her MS is concerned, she gets frustrated. Most of the time it doesn’t end well. She doesn’t fight for things the same way she taught me to fight. But in the same way I am simply trying to instill in her the same ideals she has instilled in me. It leaves me confused. I don’t exactly understand how that works. I know she wants the best for me the same way I want the best for her- but when the role of mother and daughter switches into reverse and I become “the encourager” and she becomes “the encouragee”that gets lost in translation. Yet I know that in life the person who has always encouraged me and pushed me more than anyone is Mom- at the same time I know this baffles most people because this is the same Mom who struggles to push herself.

I don’t really know where I am headed with this but it’s an observation I’ve made and one I want to file away…I do believe all these observations will intertwine themselves into a life lesson that is forming. I am just not sure what it is yet.

Did your parents push or encourage you to try things you were scared of when you were younger? Have you experienced moments of trying to push or encourage your own parents but not getting the desired effects? Do you think paying attention to comparisons in our life can lead to many life lessons if we pay close enough attention?

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