Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Letting LOVE In
I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of time in the past wishing people loved me differently than they were loving me. I used to make fun of how they loved me. I'm talking in particular about my parents, but it included other people as well. (I'm now recalling a certain lamp from my sister that was way more her than me, and my daughter even recently changing my cursor from the functional arrow pointer to a flying heart, which initially irritated me until I shifted to appreciating it.) My mom used to knit me sweaters for instance. And at the time, I didn't always appreciate the gift because I was judging the colour or pattern or something about the sweater rather than noticing that she'd spent a big whack of money and time on something to give to me as a gesture of her love. My dad lives far away and has for a long time and he sends me emails with cute animals and prayers and I think you know, "those" emails. The kind you're supposed to pass on to 5 friends. In the past I would have judged the email as tacky and not thoughtful and whoever is passing those on is cluttering up the system and like that.
And something has happened as I've gotten older, as I've deepened my own practice and studies, and that is I've allowed people to love me the way that they love me. I love that my dad sends me those emails now - and I totally read them (but rarely pass them on). I have kept the sweaters my mom gave me, even 25 years ago, as symbols of her love. I know she loves me. And I know that if I want to talk to my dad on my birthday, I have to call him. If he doesn't call me it doesn't mean that he doesn't love me. I know he loves me.
When I went looking for a mate in the recent past, I had a list and basically went out shopping. Seriously. And I met a lot of people and had a really great time getting to know Ottawa and the people in it. I came out of my "shopping" phase quite impressed with all of us and how interesting we are and how great and brave we are. And the man that I "picked out" just loves me. He's not like me, we don't share a lot of the same interests, we don't have the same taste in music, or sports or a lot of things. But what I feel around him is so totally loved. And it might be that he's a really loving guy and I finally found that kind of guy, or it might be that I've become more sensitive to the love around me and have become more loving myself. Perhaps it's a bit of both, but whatever it is, it's working.
And I've told my parents that I used to reject their loving gestures and what a drag that must have been to be loving someone who's pushing back their gifts. I don't do that anymore. I let people love me the way they want to love me. Sometimes I have a request about what I'd like, but generally I'm into just letting the love in the way it shows up.
Here's a gift from my dad yesterday.
What Love means to a 4-8 year old . .
Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it. Touching words from the mouth of babes. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?'
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined See what you think:
'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8
'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl - age 5
'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
Terri - age 4
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that.
They look gross when they kiss'
Emily - age 8
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6
'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8
'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6
'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7
'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)
Karen - age 7
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8
And the final one
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
'Nothing, I just helped him cry'
When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.
Heavenly Father, please bless all my friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your peace, prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with You. Amen.
Then send it on to five other people, including the one who sent it to you. Within hours you caused a multitude of people to pray for other people. Then sit back and watch the power of God work in your life.
P. S. Five is good, but more is better.