The #1 thing I wish I learned @ 17 is what love is.
No one ever explained to me what love was. My parents divorced when I was 5, I think. I was young. My mother hated my father and vise versa – and they weren’t big enough to get beyond that for the sake of the children. So, my father was almost entirely absent in my life. My mother bad-mouthed him every chance she got. She worked 3 jobs to support 3 kids and a home, thus was never home. I had a brother and a sister, both older – who seemed to get away with everything. It was explained to me that I was a mistake and the reason for my parents break up. I’d bet you can see the picture I’m painting here, there was an absence of connection in my home. No one ever said I love you, no one every hugged, no one ever really even said a nice word to each other. It was constant tension. The outcome, for me, was developing my own concept of what love was and that turned out to be a person who goes to work, works hard, and orders others around to maintain the house. My mom was big on giving Christmas gifts to us kids. She got an adrenaline rush when she would see lots of gifts under the tree – and I became a big gift giver also.
I remember one Christmas, my mother called my father and insisted he see his kids for Xmas. She dropped us off at his blended family with five other children and gave us each a plain baseball jacket (mine was red) and a $50 bill. Turns out the neighbor ran a printing company and he went over and grabbed three blank jackets from him just before picking us up. That same day, his new wife fed us liver and onions and wouldn’t give us anything to drink until we finished our meal. Feeling wanted and loved was not the outcome of that day.
My mother always barked orders at me and I was groomed to please others. That’s what I thought love was. I entered into a marriage that provided the same behaviors I had grown up with – authoritative, lacking of emotion – compliments – kindness – love. It certainly was a material world, big house, expensive vehicles, the whole theatrical production what mattered most was what everyone thought of us. Picture perfect on the outside – empty on the inside (at least between my ex and myself).
Fortunately, the one thing I learned from my mother was what type of a mother I didn’t want to be, and I did show my kids love, constantly say I love you, read with them, played with them, nurtured them, etc…I won’t go into the demise of the marriage because that’s not the point. The point is I collapsed from extreme unhappiness (which I didn’t know I had) and at the end of the day it was because I was treated like an object – the object that was responsible for portraying the picture perfect family.
Today, now separated from that life, and with the love and support of a small village that nurtured me back to health, I learned what love is. Webster dictionary definition includes the term, “a strong affection for another.” In my opinion, the dictionary does the word ‘love’ no justice, maybe because enough words to explain what love is simply don’t exist? My dear friend, Tin Foil, explained it to me best – “unconditional acceptance.” I accept everyone and everything as the imperfect people, places, and things that they are. Most importantly, I must possess unconditional acceptance for myself. I have learned that I must truly learn to accept myself as I am before I can live a judgement free life with a message of “one love” which is the Rastafari concept of way of living – we are all cut from the same cloth.
Furthermore, I learned people have their own concepts of love. Some show love by showering others with gifts. Some think they are showing love by name calling and sarcasam. The aforementioned examples are examples of power and control, not love. Love is not calling someone stupid or an idiot, or telling them they can’t do anything right. Love does not let anger, frustration and resentment rule the day.
Love finds the strengths in others. Love is kindness. Love is gentle.
Choice Challenge – Love is a skill that we can all work on. Just for today, don’t judge anyone. Can you do it? Tell me how you did at thecombination97 at gmail dot com
#Beliefs create your #expectations
#Choices allow you to generate positive energy around love and live a happier, healthier life
Your perception of how others communicate love is likely misinterpreted and also none of your business.
You have the choice to spend your #energy in a #positive manner, creating more #positive energy and being a power of example.
Let your love shine!
The combination – Beliefs, Perceptions, Expectations, Energy, Choices, Energy