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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Mommy, love thyself

hot tub
Originally uploaded by marytsao
I saw something on Oprah a couple of weeks ago that really stuck with me. Allow me to share.

Life coach Martha Beck was on the show and she was reassuring a mom who had escaped an abusive relationship that it was okay for her to take care of herself. The mom was worried about her kids and the abuse they had seen and how it was going to affect them emotionally; she also wished for her son's forgiveness.

From the Oprah synopsis of the show:

Martha explains to Wendy that if she wants her son's forgiveness, she must first forgive herself. "Our children model what we do to ourselves, not what we do to them. So if you see unforgiveness in his eyes, it's because you're not forgiving yourself," Martha says. "Your only job is to learn to love yourself. The children, that's all they're waiting for you to do."

According to Martha, a mother who lives her life well is going to have happier children. "Let me tell you my favorite story from a psychiatrist who spent 20 years dealing with neurotic patients. They'd always say, 'I know my mother loved me, but…,' and then they'd go into the problems," she says. "One day she met a really, really healthy man, and she thought, 'Gee, I wonder what a normal person's mother is like?' She never heard that. … She thought he would say, 'My mother loved me perfectly. She made no mistakes at all.' Instead, he said something she had never heard before from a patient. He said, 'My mother loved life.'"

Martha says parents who neglect to love themselves raise kids who don't show themselves self-love, either. "They don't treat themselves the way you treat them. They treat themselves the way you treat you," she says.

I want to remember this.