Today I send love to all the mothers of the world, for the many noble and creative ways in which you perform the toughest and most important job there is. I bow to you!

Most of all, I send love to my own beautiful mother — seen in this photo traveling with me in London a few years ago, helping me (with total glee and passion) do research for my new book. How can I list my gratitudes?

Thank you for teaching me fearlessness (or at least how to fake it, when necessary.)

Thank you for teaching me how to have adventures — whether on the other side of the world, or in our own back yard.

Thank you for teaching me manners — and that we are never, under any circumstances, exempt from them.

Thank you for teaching me FUN — and for tricking me, at times, into thinking that chores themselves were fun (a trick I still used on myself from time to time.)

Thank you for teaching me discipline — that we must do what you NEED to do first, so we can do what we WANT to do later.

Thank you for teaching me not to be a lazy crybaby whiner, despite all my worst natural and most pathetic inclinations. (Really, thank you for that. I know it was a years-long task, to drive that out of me!)

Thank you for teaching me how to get ready in five minutes for absolutely anything, and how to pack light — two skills that have taken me far.

Thank you for teaching me never to wait to be rescued by anyone, and never to ask permission for owning my own life.

But first and foremost, thank you for teaching me, whenever I am faced with a tough decision, TO FORGIVE MYSELF IN ADVANCE FOR WHATEVER CHOICE I MAKE. As you always said, "In years to come, more information may come to light, and you may regret your decision. But you must forgive yourself in advance for that possibility. You must never forget that you selected the very best path you could for yourself at that moment in time, given what you knew then. And then let it go."

Simply put: the best advice anyone has ever given anybody, ever.

I love you, Mom.

And tell me, everyone…what is the best thing you ever learned from your mothers?

Blessings to all!


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall