Nurturing: A Gift of Love

Quotes on nurturing: I don’t think feminism, as I understand the definition, implies the rejection of maternal values, nurturing children, caring about the men in your life. That is just nonsense to me
– Hillary Clinton .

Story: Maria Schneider, My paternal grandmother:
Maria Schaubheutel Altman Schneider immigrated to this country in 1898 at the age of eighteen. She married my grandfather, Joseph Altman, upon arrival in Saint Louis. The relationship was abusive and was characterized by both physical and mental traumas. Her survival is a testimony to her strength.
She had many personal gifts including a wonderful capacity for nurturing which usually manifested in the culinary arts. What a wonderful cook she was! Her kitchen danced with the smells of coffee, apple strudel, various cakes, and German potato salad. It was a treat to be served dinner in her house.
She was not successful in the traditional sense. She didn’t earn any money. She never ran a business She was not a public figure. But she was successful in her second marriage, in her cooking abilities, and in her relationship with her three children.
Moral of the Story:
Success is not defined in terms of finances. It can come in many different arenas: relationships, nurturing, caring, loving, cooking, serving, and encouraging. She had a strong sense for all these qualities.
Were my grandmother alive today, she may have experienced independence. She would not have had to suffer at the hands of my grandfather. She proved her ability to maintain a stable relationship during her marriage to Willie Schneider. And she steadfastly stood by her children throughout her long life.
That poor woman had more than her share of sadness. My grandmother had an incredible look of sorrow shrouding her being. She would not speak of her anguish, but her whole body showed it. She did not hit or strike back. She just felt horribly sad.
She died in her daughter’s arms at the age of eighty-six. I grieved for the incomplete us. I never took the chance to tell her how much I loved her. I never told her about her delicious cooking. And I never held her in my arms and expressed sorrow over the circumstances of her life. She gave us all an opportunity to grow, to love, and to succeed.
Grandma Schneider, I love you.
Action Plan:
No one must endure what my grandmother experienced. Nurture your hurting soul first. Seek out the hurting and reassure them.
Practical Application to Your Life:
Find the Grandmother Schneider in you. Plant the seeds of growth in your own life. Find what your strengths are and build on them. You too have rich, fertile soil waiting to nurture the seeds you sow. Plant them, nurture them, and watch them come to life.
Weekly Take Away:
Recognize the value of nurturing yourself. Know the reward of taking care of others. Plant the roots of love, kindness, and peace.

Week Five: Fall into success with the gift of mindfulness

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