Category Archives: Love

today

Today, no matter what day it is, is all I can focus on right now. There’s a lot of wonderful stuff going on in my life, but it’s all happening at once (of course!) and so I’m just trying to live moment by moment.

Last week, my fiancé and I bought a new house. Our first house together, a great start to a new life. Plus the kids love it!

Yesterday, I put my current house on the market. I sat and reflected last night what a wonderful house that has been for me for the past 4 years. How much it did for my self esteem at the end of a failed marriage. Buying a place of my own and recreating my life was made more wonderful by this little home.

Today and tomorrow I’m participating as a blogger in the Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools summit here in Houston. It’s an honor to be a part of such a great cause and to help bring attention to a much needed topic – our kids health.

Next Saturday, I’ll get married. This of course has been top of mind for some time and I’m still a little dazed that it’s happening next week! I can’t wait to see all our friends and family coming from all over. I don’t even know how to articulate how excited I feel and how much anticipation I have.

Post “honeytrip” we get to pack and move into the new house! I’ve already started the packing of course but I think once we move we’ll finally feel somewhat “settled” into this new exciting life! My personal evolution.

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dear god

Dear God,

Thank you.

Thank you for giving me the ability to love.

For instilling in me the courage to love again.

Thank you for helping me to remember those whom I should love more openly.

Thank you for being the constant example of how to love.

Even when I didn’t think it was what I needed,

You knew I could do it.

You trusted me, and I thank you.

I’m overjoyed reflecting in what the seeds of that love have sowed.

Thank you for never letting me forget how important it is to open my heart.

The examples are endless,

The results mean everything to me.

Thank you

simply tolerate

On a recent This I Believe essay on NPR, the speaker, Jim Haynes, talked about his weekly Sunday dinner party. Anyone can sign up to attend until space is gone, typically 50-60 people. He hosts total strangers, travelers, students, etc. who join him for dinner. First, what a great concept; but something he said in the course of the program really caught my attention.

I have long believed that it is unnecessary to understand others, individuals or nationalities; one must, at the very least, simply tolerate others. Tolerance can lead to respect and, finally, to love. No one can ever really understand anyone else, but you can love them or at least accept them.

What strikes me about this statement is that it seems to go against what one would normally try to do. We are always trying to “understand” someone. I’m constantly saying, “I just don’t get [fill in person’s name].” Mr. Haynes gave me a great wakeup call. Understanding should not be the goal. As a matter of fact, there are very few people in our lives we will truly and deeply understand. Even one’s spouse or dearest friend will do or say things you just don’t get. When I think about it, I don’t want to be understood; it implies predicability.

The next very cool thing about this statement is that the phrase he uses to “simply tolerate others”, at first sounds negative. Like we’re just gritting our teeth until they are gone or something. And maybe that’s how it starts if you really don’t “understand” someone. But the point is that the more you tolerate, the more you will accept and hopefully eventually respect as well. Tolerance is an overused word in today’s society. It takes on a watered down meaning. We forget what it really means to tolerate towards a goal of accepting.

Thank you the wake up call. And if I’m ever in Paris on a Sunday, I will definitely make a reservation to dine!

the physical years

I used to say that raising babies (0-3) was a very physical process, they crawl, run, hide, need to be carried, dressed, fed, etc. As a parent you are phsically exhausted. I was pleased when about age 5 they could suddenly do everything for themselves. I actually had time to drink a hot cup of coffee, exercise for me, read a book…the bliss was not to last. When they reach about 7 (sometimes sooner) the world of extracurricular activities opens up and you’re back to the exhaustion. Between baseball, soccer, ballet, communion classes, birthday parties, you name it – most nights are choc full of things that have nothing to do with me. I drive and take pictures and cheer that’s my role. Don’t get me wrong it’s fun – but once again no hot coffee, very little reading, haven’t jogged in months…you know the pattern.

So in the midst of a particularly long, tiring evening of things that didn’t involve me I realized that the day would come when they would be able to take the car keys and go themselves and I would want desperately to be with them and know where they are and what they were doing. I would happily give up my coffee, books, you name it to be sure of thier safety and just spend time with them. Needless to say, I’ve felt much better about my chauffer duties after that. It’s a pleasure to see them grow and do things they love. I know these years will go by much too quickly.

Ok, so now the funny thing. My daughter’s birthday is in a few weeks. We have a ritual that before every birthday and Christmas we have to fill up a bag with old toys, books, etc. that we don’t want anymore to donate. That way we make room for the new and do a good deed at the same time. My daughter has a very difficult time parting with even a broken toy necklace. Tonight is the night of her purge and she’s in her room crying, but very lyrically saying “what am i going to do? what am i going to do! i love EVERYTHING!!” in between huge sobs. You have to know what a drama queen she is to truely appreciate it probably – but it’s so funny. She’ll find things to donate, she always does – but she does get attached!

love like it’s 75% off

I don’t know about you but I’m particularly fond of things that I buy on sale, and not just any sale, but huge 75% off type savings. It can be a truly religious experience for me 😉

One of the things I struggle with is the “love thy neighbor like yourself” concept. This struggle has become more obvious to me since attending the Quaker meetings. Each Sunday there is a gentleman who stands up at the end of the meeting to ask us to hold in the light whoever the state of Texas is about to execute. I’m very much against the death penalty and I admire this man who can think of these criminals in such a caring way. I’m not sure I am able to do this with as much sincerity.

I was thinking about this concept while driving down a busy street the other day. As I looked at my surroundings, trees, people at a bus stop, birds sitting on a telephone pole I felt nothing for them, other than idle curiosity. I wondered what it would be like to really care for each of these people/things. What if I could love them like they were mine, like my own children, like something that was 75% off!

But if I had this much love for everything wouldn’t it blind me to the bad things in the world? Wouldn’t I become the type of person to only see good and miss the pain; making excuses for anything bad that happened because deep down everyone’s good. I’ve know people like this, it’s the opposite of the pessimist and far beyond the optimist, it’s the “nothing’s ever really wrong” uber happy people. I want to slap them, because ultimately if you see no pain you see nothing to change, nothing to fight for.

Maybe I was making excuses for why I didn’t have to care. I mean, I didn’t want to lose my perspective right? Caring too much might make me the disgusting uber happy person I dreaded. I didn’t want to not see pain and therefore not feel compelled to do anything about it. That was my excuse anyway.

Almost instantly I realized that it’s only in the caring that you truly see the pain. It is the love that opens you up to see and respond to someone else’s need. A need you probably didn’t even know existed until you loved them. As opposed to blinding me to all that was negative, it would open my eyes to the real and expansive understanding of human pain and love.

I actually started crying in traffic when I realized this. Such a simple concept that I had never grasped before.

I’m not at the point yet where I can see the positive side of everyone, but I work at it daily. And it certainly takes the religious experience out of shopping and puts it where it belongs.