Within the frames of our lifetime, we are exposed to an eclectic mix of individuals. These individuals serve to provide us with information, examples and structure that assist us in shaping who we become. Some of the material passed on to us contains substance and value, while some contain the recipe for heartache and confusion. During the formative years of my life I received a constant dose of advice: "Remember who you are."
From a very young age I was like a sponge, seeking out information and guidance from whomever was willing to lend it. Sometimes the guidance I received helped me along the way. Sometimes the guidance took me off of the path that was to lead me towards true happiness. One thing remained constant however, a single phrase that played in my head like a broken record, "Remember who you are." I cannot remember when it was exactly that I heard that phrase for the first time. Maybe it was in the womb, or perhaps on the first day of school. Whenever it was, I am grateful for those simple words.
But words are not enough. Along with those words comes the need for a living example, someone to show you what they truly mean and how it applies to life. Throughout my life I have had many individuals who have served as instructors, parents, teachers, church leaders and friends. But the one person who dedicated their life to teaching me the value of my life and the purpose of my life is the one person who constantly told me to remember who I was. That simple phrase and the example behind it guided me through many rough times.
Like so very many of us I have had to learn the lessons of life. Some of those lessons are wonderful, beautiful and filled with joy. Others are dark, confusing and fraught with despair. What makes it possible for us to glean knowledge from our experiences and grow are the individual fibers that make up the overall fabric of our lives. Those individual fibers are the simple words and actions of our instructors. What we take from their actions and words help to weave a comforting barrier between misery and ourselves. I had an instructor in my life who began their lessons of life with a single thread, the thread of remembering who I was.
Who was I? That was the first question I had. Over the course of time, my instructor showed me who I was. Not by telling me but assisting me in discovering who I had the potential to be. First she showed me that in order to discover who I was I had to love others. She provided me with a living example of love. Over the years I have watched as she has consistently practiced this principle and philosophy. She has the most pure love of life and people. She never judges, she never hates and she never speaks or acts unkindly. Over the years I have watched as life dealt her many hard blows. She has never wavered.
My instructor continued to guide me on my journey. She told me that I could do anything I wanted, I could be whatever I wanted to be. As a result of this encouragement, I never doubted my potential or my ability. Along the way I continued to learn. I learned the value of compassion, dedication, commitment, perseverance, love and forgiveness. As the lessons and the living example of those lessons continued I soon discovered who I was. When those powerful words of remembering came my way they began to have meaning. Whenever I strayed from the path, there they were. Over the years I strayed from the path on many occasions. Each time I heard the words and I could not deny the message contained therein. I was compelled to regain my footing and re-enter the path and continue my journey. Sometimes I was stubborn and I would deny who I was, but in the end the true nature of who I was made it necessary for me to return to the life that was mine.
I will forever be in debt to my instructor. For the time and effort she put into teaching me to be me. For the love and compassion she showed me. Everything I am today, and everything I will be, I owe to her. I have a wonderful life and a deep understanding of who I am and what life is all about.
My desire is to be a teacher of people, to be a living example in the same manner and fashion as my instructor. I have watched as she has guided so many people through life. She has given of herself completely and without thought or care for her own gain. She does it because she is truly and instrument of God. The messages she brings are of hope, joy and happiness. She lives as she teaches and she teaches as she lives. I have had the opportunity to know may people in my life, but none match the beauty and purpose of this wonderful woman.
Never in my life have I met an individual who possess the qualities and characteristics of this individual. Her approach to life and love are unparallel. Her desire to serve her fellow man is unmatched. I thank God on a daily basis for her involvement in my life, for the fact that he blessed me with the opportunity to know her. She truly is a living example of what we all have the potential to realize in our lives. She has never stopped assisting me in my life and to this day she teaches and lives a wonderful life. She is my living example, she is my friend, she is my mother.