I was thinking about my mom today, specifically about a conversation we had when she was sick, fighting the cancer, but when things still seemed optimistic.
She was talking about my dad, and how she really saw how much effort he was putting in to supporting her through the treatment process. She recognized that because she feeling poorly, she was irritable and impatient with him, despite the fact the he was only trying to help and support her.
She told me she had decided that from then forward, she would choose not to act like a shit (her words) even if she felt like shit.
Both at the time, and looking back, this seemed like a defining moment to me. I can't quite articulate how or what I mean, but I felt it, felt the change in her.
I have been pondering a lot lately the line between being authentic, and still having a positive attitude. I think it's easy, in light of current teachings on positive thinking, to shove aside and deny feelings that aren't sunny and light, and repress rather than re-frame them. It's another thing entirely to acknowledge the feelings, but to choose not to wallow in them, and to seek a different focus or perspective.
Once again, my mama was onto something. I haven't gotten it figured out yet, but I'm grateful for the clues she left for me to find, even now, nearly 4 years after her passing.