My mother taught me what unconditional love felt like. This did not mean her behavior felt loving every moment of our 58 years together, we certainly had our share of disagreements, but beneath that surface layer, she stood steady. I cannot think of a single time (how is that possible?) that push come to shove, she wouldn’t have barreled across any mountain or person, to save me. I never doubted her love, although I did manage to doubt her at times. An interesting aspect of (unconditional) love, is that it doesn’t always look the way we expect it to. It would have been more difficult to embrace my own role as Mom, had I not experienced the love of my mother.
My father taught me to trust myself. He bolstered my confidence by believing in me so fully that it felt counter-intuitive not to agree with him. I grew up with a strange mix of insecurity and bravado (do we all?) which was confusing to reconcile even though it worked. Eventually I learned to hold both traits, side by side, in the larger container that was me, which allowed for a more multi-faceted awareness. Sometimes, more so in my younger years, trusting myself was a difficult task, and I would look outward for answers. Those were my insecurities talking. Now I listen to others, throw their comments into the hopper and allow some marinating time before I make my decision. Because right or wrong at any particular moment, I still trust me.