“Men can’t be all just brute force and just male energy, they have to be sensitive and understanding. That’s the biggest lesson she taught me how to be myself, how to be in touch with every part.”
"My mother's philosophy was 'If you get yourself in trouble, you've got to get yourself out of trouble.' There was always this awareness that you have to be responsible for yourself in order to have what you want.”
"My mother told me when I was a kid that each time we get to what feels like
the edge of a cliff, we have two choices: to turn around and run, or to jump. I have learned over time to jump and though it is scary, I know somewhere inside me that I will be caught."
I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you're going. That's family values.
"The most important thing she taught me was to never want to look like someone else or be someone else. She was a ballerina, and she made me dance, and if I danced in a certain style or copied a specific person, she would tell me to dance like myself. She felt that if you knew how to own and respect what you're given naturally, there's nothing more beautiful."
"Mom always tells us how beautiful we are. She embraces our differences and tries not to make us cookie-cutter kids.”
"My mother was a feminist. She would have slapped you if you said she was pretty. And she was pretty, but she wasn't very much into looks or anything like that. She taught me about the mind and the meaning of life. I learned about being a strong woman, and I think that's more beautiful to me."
"She taught me not to fear being the butt of the joke, taught me not to worry about being likeable or perfect, and to lovingly go for the kill.”
"Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love."
"From the time I was little, my mother told me, 'We're all just a product of our choices."
"She always told me to smile with my eyes. I learned that by watching her. And what that meant to her and now means to me is: To feel beautiful is to be beautiful. If you felt good, and you felt confident, you could put that through your eyes in a picture. And that would be beautiful."
"The best advice my mom ever gave me was that you have to talk about your emotions."
“Remember this: When you cross my doorstep, you have already been raised. With what you have learned you know the difference between right and wrong. Do right. Don't anybody raise you from the way you have been raised. Know you will have to make adaptations, in love, in relationships, in friends, in society, in work, but don't let anybody change your mind.”
"My mom has taught me how to be both a gracious host and guest, the importance of keeping my commitments, how to be the bigger person and most importantly to ALWAYS wear sunscreen!"
I think my mother is my biggest influence. There are so many things I hate about her but at the same time I'm thankful for her. All I know is that when I'm a parent I want to be just like my mom. I can talk to my mom more than any of my friends could talk to their parents.
“Hearts will break and people will hurt you, darling.” Her mother said. “But when you let those people control your outlook on the life, you only allow them to have a greater hold on your happiness. Once you accept the fact that every day is a new day to begin again, life becomes a much easier path to walk.”
Also published on Medium.