Just let that soak that in for a minute.
Do you ever hear a song on the radio, or stumble on a particular line in a book, or a TV character waxes eloquent, and it just sticks with you? I love finding inspiration in unexpected places.
I got this jewel from a good friend recently when we were on vacation together. She was sharing a current struggle with one of her children, and her frustration that there was no easy fix. But, as she was describing her sadness, she looked at me and said she knew they would prevail, because the love she felt for her child was far greater than the pain she felt.
Wow. I can't even begin to explain how those words resonated with me. It is so simple. If you love someone, truly love them, then there is nothing they can do or say that can trump that love.
But beyond that, love can keep you from getting in your own way. Because the feelings you have for another person are inevitably wrapped up in your anxieties, your insecurities, your faults, and your fears. It is easy to lose sight of the pure feeling of love, when you limit your worth or scratch at your scars.
Instead of feeling like a failure because your child is in crisis, draw strength from the moment you met and fell in love. Rather than give up on your partner because you have drifted apart, remember what drew you together and speak to them from that place. Don't allow your failures to define you, but celebrate the trials that have made you strong.
Love yourself more than your pain.
I should mention the other quote that stuck with me that weekend, also from my friend. It came in the form of an honest reaction to raw chicken necks, purchased at a gas station. She was bagging them up so that our boys could go crabbing, and as the blood and ligament fat dripped onto the floor, she said, "This is gross, but I love my son."
Ya'll. This woman is my sensai. I drew on those words later that night when my son was projectile vomiting in his room - in the top bunk bed of a converted closet - while his friend offered moral support. If you know me at all, you know my gag reflex would impress even Pavlov.
But I love my kid. And I loved that I could take care of him when he needed me. Love is a gift - and you can give it to yourself.
Until next time, keep crowin' and lovin'!