Where there is a strong mother, there is a stronger lesson from being raised by one.
The Women's March on Washington and other satellite protests held around the world lasted for mere hours. Then, something occurred to me: the deeply rooted life lessons about a mother's love and resilience from a hodgepodge of speeches can last a lifetime. Deeper still, I realize that women are at the root of all humanity; they're the secret sauce of existence -- and everyone has a "mother."
If you pause and give it thought, it's the biggest paradox ever that women are not "equal" or dominant over men in Western society.
So many famous women have fought the good fight, according to Historynet: St. Joan Of Arc with her contribution to the Hundred Years War; Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone Native American, who Lewis and Clark leaned heavily on for her expertise as a guide; Susan B. Anthony, the founder of the Women's Suffrage Movement; Marie Curie, a Nobel Prize laureate known for her contributions to chemistry; Helen Keller for her activism in helping people with disabilities; Amelia Earhart for being the first person to take a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean; Rosa Parks for not giving up her seat during segregation; Gloria Steinem for her tireless work in promoting equal rights for women in the workplace; Madeleine Albright for being the country's first woman Secretary of State; and Oprah, who needs no introduction.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list; that would be a lesson in history, of which this is not. No, it's more than that; it's a reminder how women bore out the strength of this union with their compassion and unwavering resistance to accepting the egregiously imbalanced cultural norms.
Here are eight lessons you will learn from the spirit of a woman, as I've watched and learned from my own.
1. You'll soon learn that a mom is an expert in passion, admiration, and love. Because these emotions transcend time, her advice to you about a "good catch" and warnings of a broken heart are battle-tested. Don't be stubborn and go at love alone; your mom is more resourceful than a shrink and Dear Abby.
2. Early on, you'll learn that being a woman has its disadvantages, but that's where a woman's strength lies. Along with my mother's journey, I recall her telling other girls and women that their opinions will fall on deaf ears at times, but it's always wise to get back up and try again. Ronda Rousey knows the strength in getting back up when knocked down and so does Aung San Suu Kyi.
3. By far, women know the importance of making their own money and the grace in pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. Singles moms are shining examples of walking corporations. Strong women perfect the art of cleaning, cooking, rearing children, paying the bills and making the house a happy home -- all without a man. As the saying goes about independent women: she can "do bad by herself."
4. From the lessons taught by your strong mom, you'll soon learn that being happy comes at a premium. The good news is that you'll learn how to create peace and unspeakable joy out of thin air. At my darkest hour, it was my strong mother who showed me how others less fortunate still managed to see the light ahead. Soon, my own became brighter.
5. With the strength you inherit from your beloved mother, you'll learn moderation of your superhuman powers. As an adolescent, I experienced by mom's inner beast mode when I challenged her or tried going left when she signaled right. As a teen and young adult, I saw the softer side when she wore her pain on her sleeves with complete surrender. Above all, I learned that tears from a mom have a multiplicity of meaning.
6. Strong moms know the value of having the patience of Job (2:10), citing a summary of Got Questions. Just like the biblical character that, despite losing everything he owned in a day, he patiently waited for -- as they say, "his ship to come in." It did. As Job endured through trials and tribulations, I've watched in awe at my mother and other strong caregivers do the same. What they shared in common was irrefutable: patience and a will to survive.
7. With your newfound strength, you'll learn how to be a nurturer; after all, one raised you. You'll learn how to be grounded and a fierce guardian of your family. You'll learn not to make excuses because it only clouds your credibility. As a loving and giving person by nature, you'll learn from your mom how to give and receive love.
8. Finally, in your journey to unlock the intrinsic powers you already possess as a future strong woman, perhaps, one of the most important lessons you can take from your mother: learning to give yourself permission to love the complete you.
If you attended the Women's March or watched from the comfort of your viewing device, don't let the event be a going-to-church-on-Sunday moment and returning to your business as usual on Monday. There's something to learn from the spirit of the event. Just ask your strong mom; she's already paid the price.
[Featured image by Monkey Business Images/shutterstock]