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Grandma S's Teachings


To share some of spiritual or life lessons from my favorite spiritual teacher in my family while I was growing up, my Grandma S.


When I look back on my life when I was younger, one person, above the rest stood out as a good role model for a spiritual teacher. That one person was my Grandma S.

Now some may ask, but what about your mother or your father, were they not your best teachers? Well, it turns out that in history it was not uncommon for grandchildren to learn great lessons (and sometimes be closer to) their grandparents then they were with their own children. It's not uncommon for parents to fall below the list, because they have to be the disciplinarians in the family, so they fall from favor.

In some groups throughout history, the grandparents were treated as "grand parents". In some tribes, "grand parents" (the elders in a tribe) were matched assigned to a child. They were matched on what elder would be the best match for a particular child. Their purpose was to be their mentor.

All of my family has had gifts to offer, but I got the most positive spiritual guidance from Grandma S.

Her message was love.

Grandma S.

Grandma S. was a person who taught service to others, She was very involved with Salvation Army, Blood Mobile, Hospital Volunteer, her Church, and Meals on Wheels to name a few. She also was of service when we came to visit, in that she could spend hours and hours in the kitchen preparing great meals for us, all made with love.

Grandma S. taught me love in many ways. Most of the times we go to visit her when we were young; she would have some small gift to offer to all of us. Sometimes we each got gifts, and sometimes she would get one gift that we would all have to share.

She was always glad to see us, and she expressed that she didn't want us to go. She showed how much she loved us. Grandma S. also taught treating people equally. We would never know between the three of us (I have two sisters) who is her favorite. She never played favorites. I always thought deep down, inside her, that I was her favorite, but I'll bet my sisters felt the same!

Before bedtime, Grandma S. would sometimes sneak up and fold down the corner of our bed sheets as a warm welcome for us at bedtime. It was a very loving act that sent the message that you were loved, and left me with happy thoughts before I fell asleep.

While Grandma S. seemed to have some "needless" (as far as I believe) fears, even though we knew it was because she loved us so much, one time when I went off to a new adventure, she expressed concern. What was the real gift of Grandma S. was that when she was wrong, she would admit it. When my "new adventure" turned to out successful, she later said she was wrong for the worry, and expressed her gratitude for the decision I had made. She said she was so happy it was working out.

If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all. Grandma S. would say that, and lived by it. She said it to me in an educational tone, not a scolding or righteous tone. In the entire time I knew her, I only remember her saying one small negative comment about someone else in our family. I remember hearing that message my mind many times during the years. What was the message? Think Positive!

I don't know if Grandma S. ever expressed anger. It must have happened, but I don't remember. Even when one of her dogs got "nasty" as he got older, she showed love to the dog. As the dog would be snarling at her, she would try to pet him say something soothing to him like "oh honey, don't be that way Rusty".

My Grandma S. taught, in a loving manner, the message of honesty and the value of owning up to your mistakes without shame (google).

When I was very young, I was at my grandparents' home. I played with a toy that was on a shelf for display, and I broke the toy. Not long after, my grandmother asked me to walk with her to the washroom. She asked me if I had broken the toy. I felt horrible. My Grandma S. was an amazing, nice, and very loving grandmother. My initial reaction was to say I didn't do it, because I had been taught by others (but not her) that mistakes should be punished, and that could include shame. I then felt so much worse! How could I lie to my loving grandmother? After a few long seconds, she asked me again, and I admitted my mistake. She then took a bar of soap, and told me to wash my mouth out with soap. I did that, and that was the end of the issue. I never felt shamed by her. She did not appear mad, and she never said anything about it ever again.

Today I still remember how I felt like a weight had been taken off my heart very soon after admitting my mistake. I confessed my lie, and the soap was cleansing. It served a way of making an amends; it provided forgiveness for my mistake, as well as a reminder for me in the future.  People make mistakes all the time, and if you do make a mistake that affects others, fix it by making amends. That process was very effective in releasing my guilt, and taught me several lessons. Honesty is part of true love.

I felt that Grandma S. also deep-rooted spiritual beliefs. She mentioned her view on why she thought we were put on this earth. She felt that we were put here and given free will to see if we chose a life following the message of love. She felt the choice we made would affect us after our time on this planet. Maybe she was right. Regardless, the message was still the same. Love is the answer to a better life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Grandma S. for the many great lessons and showing me who we can be, and who we are. Teach only love, for that is what you are. (miraclecenter.org)

Closing Thoughts

I was so lucky, and I am so grateful for all that I learned from her. She taught quite possibly the most important lesson in life, love. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that she was part of my life.

Did you have a favorite spiritual mentor when you were growing up? Consider sharing your story and contact us below.

Thank YOU for reading this!

By David M

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This page updated 03/23/19 10:27 AM