Saturday, May 21, 2011

who loves you, baby?

Who do you love? Conjure up your mental list.

Now, let me rephrase the question...who do you love-- absolutely, unequivocally, unconditionally, exactly as they are? If you are anything like me, your list just got a whole lot shorter.

Next, think of how good it feels to bask in the presence of someone who truly loves and accepts you. Warts and all. Think of how freeing and liberating it is share with that person; to simply be with that person. What a gift. And one we should aspire to give as well as receive.
My grandparents loved me SO well. They also always had Cheez-Its at their house; hence I have an association between love and Cheez-Its. I am going to eat some Cheez-Its now. (not a joke). 

But how do we start ? (orange font to denote Cheez-It hands). How do we turn off the ego, the defense of self, the sense of disgust that someone out there might like foie gras?

Rick Elias, whose plane nearly crashed in 2010, thinks he may have found the answer, " my humanity, I also allowed my ego to get in, I wasted time that mattered on people who mattered, on things that did not matter...I no longer try and be right, I try and be happy."  2011 TED Talk.

Spend 3 minutes listening to his entire talk and how theses sentiments relate to parenting; you won't be sorry.

Please share someone who loved you very do you channel their spirit and infuse your interactions with this kind of love? What are your challenges in doing so, and how do you overcome them? Thank you. Sometimes I find you distasteful and your person offensive. JK-I love you, for real...and I am working on loving you better.

PS-for more explorations on loving peeps better, please visit my friend's new and excellent blog, "Love and Peace or Else." And I know what you are thinking..."I couldn't possibly love peeps any better." But check out this idea of plopping one in your hot chocolate or latte from Ohdeedoh! See! We can all love peeps better.


  1. My mom loves me unconditionally. She tells me I look so pretty when I could be mistaken for a troll. Mediocre skills of mine are extraordinary in her eyes. She sees the best in me and because she thinks I'm a better person than I actually am, it makes me strive to BE the girl she sees.

  2. Uhhh, that is sooo nice. I wish my mom felt that way about me. I kid, I kid. I know my mom thinks "both my girls are pretty" ha ha.

    But what if this, what if she doesn't see as better than you are, but as you ACTUALLY are. Because she has the ability to love you purely and unconditionally all the self defense and bull crap that we use to build ourselves up and keep others at arms length are stripped away. I just have this nagging feeling that if we could all find some way to tap into a modicum of that feeling of pure love and the of recognizing the divinity in others, our interactions as a human race would improve dramatically.

    I don't know if any of that made sense, but does having experienced that kind of love ever change the way you treat people?

  3. Yes, I believe it does change the way I treat others! And yes, what you said DEFINITELY makes sense. I totally believe we love as we were loved!

  4. A couple of confessions: First, I have not done the assigned reading/listening, but I will. Second, I began these comments over 12 hours ago. I know I SHOULD read them and check them for spelling and other (for instance, is this even logical? Does this even make sense?) errors, but I'm too tired, and I promised Sister1 I would post today :)

    I think there are so many different examples of pure, true love. The love a parent has for their child, the love a child has for his or her parents, and the love a dog has for its family are all good examples.
    Another striking example of true love is the love a grandparent has for their grandchild. When I think of who loved me purely, I instantly think of my Grandma Verla. As I've said before, I remember my grandma taking me to play bingo, staying up until 3 am to play Skip Bo, and eating Schwan's pushups until I got brain freeze. Those are some of the most special childhood memories.
    She rocked, that's all there is to it. Fortunately, the feeling was mutual—she thought (knew?) I rocked as well. Grandparents are just very special people. They love their grandchildren like a parent loves his or her child, but they can be much more permissive without dire consequences. I’m sure that doesn’t make sense, but what I mean is: as parents, we can’t indulge our children all the time. But grandparents? That’s a whole different story! They CAN indulge their grandchildren all the time because it is a temporary, special situation. While I admire those who willingly take care of their children’s children, I always feel a little sad for the child that they don’t get to know their grandparent as “just” (don’t think of this “just” as a minimization but a maximization—yes, t hat’s a word!) grandma and grandpa.
    As a parent, I often want to reprimand my parents for being too permissive with my daughter. Fortunately, the gift of patience and acceptance of their bond and their relationship is one of the many gifts given to me from Grandma Verla. Everytime I begin to get upset with my mom for what she did let my kiddo do or didn’t make her do, I remember what I did with my grandma—and I remember how special that time was.
    My grandma passed away long ago, but I still have pure, true love in my life. Of course my parents love me, but geez, they have to ☺ My daughter truly and purely loves me, and yes, it does affect my behavior. She inspires me to be the person she believes me to be. I think all pure, true love does that. When someone loves us warts and all, we don’t want to let that person down. We know we have shortcomings, for goodness sake, we’re human. But, none of those matter because *insert name here* loves us so much. So, we try to minimize our faults and maximize our gifts and be that person who thinks (knows?) we’re perfect (just the way we are).

  5. Oh, and PS...your Cheez-Its are my raisins. My Grandma Esther always had those little boxes of Sun Maid raisins for us (Grandma Verla didn't have anything so healthy). Grandma Esther died when I was in grade school, so I remember very little about her, but I get a feeling of warmth and nostalgia whenever I see those little red boxes.

  6. Shellody,
    I am crying. I feel like I really miss my Grandma and I feel really glad that you had Grandma Verla. And her raisins. Which, as long as you brushed your teeth, are much healthier than Cheez-its.

    I agree, when someone *knows* we rock, we believe them and we act accordingly. Feeling that someone sees something special in you changes everything.

    The bottom line is, everyone out there that we encounter is someone's kid and grandkid, and I as work to become more accepting and more actively to see the divine in others, I would do well to remember that. And if that means that I have to eat more Cheez-its, then so be it.

    Thanks for contributing to my blog, my readers and I TOTES appreciate you!


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