Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Practicing Love and Belonging

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarkin[src]
 This is how I feel about what I am reading lately.  Almost, almost, almost.....damn....gone!
Breaking it down is might help.  Love.
Is it possible to love others more than ourselves?  Absolutely.  
Last night snuggled up in bed, I said, "I love you always and forever." 
He wiggled a little in my arms.  "But mom....... what if I did something really, really bad?  Would you still love me?" (Parents of a teenage girl were just convicted of her brutal beating that led to her death--he must be listening to conversations when he is in bed...)
"Absolutely.  I will always love you."
Yet when we make the smallest omission--misplace our keys, forget milk, miss a deadline--we call ourselves stupid, idiot, incapable--instead of love ourselves. When we continue to say yes when we can't possibly take on one more thing, when we refuse to buy clothes until we are skinnier, when we swallow our opinion and agree with the disagreeable ---we send the message to others and ourselves that our time, our bodies and our opinions are not worth anything--we do not love ourselves enough to be ourselves. 
I was floundering in this chapter until I came upon a quote Brene Brown borrowed from Bell Hooks' work "All About Love" which brought everything into perspective.
To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.

So if love is an action...like trying to sink a basketball...you have to practice to get good at it. I practice love with my kids every single day.  With special breakfast.  Sudden hugs.  Demands for a kiss on the cheek before my 17 year old leaves for work...or at night...every single day.  With sharing stories, getting slushies, watching fireworks, teaching them, learning from them, listening, laughing and asking for their time.  Watching them sleep and feeling full and warm and wonderful.

Do I practice this with my spouse?  Hmmmmm...ouch!  Ouch.  I would love to say yes.  That is why this work is uncomfortable.  I am good at practicing love with my kids.  I SUCK at it with my spouse.  Message received. 
It is hard when you feel like you don't want to put out that effort. It's hhhhhaaaaaaaaaarrrrddddd!!!! I don't waaaaaaaannnnnaaaaaa!
Practicing something you are not good at is hard.  I mean just because you are good at baking doesn't mean you are good at cooking necessarily even though many of the concepts are the same. (This I know! ) 
Yes these are examples of me making excuses. This is me ...pouting..not wanting to leave the park.

Work in Friggin' Process......

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