Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Valentine Thought About Growth

The Acorn
Like an Embryo~
So Full of Potential But Soooo New

Looking back on the early years I can remember thinking that it was my total responsibility to keep Jim happy 24/7. Isn't that what young love thinks? You fall in love and live happily ever after...end of story, right? If only.....

I remember getting so distressed if he was down or grumpy, or hurting or perplexed about was my job to fix it. I thought that if he was not perfectly happy it was because of something I was or was not doing. If he was messed up about something I would turn it into my problem literally. I would think, I am not good enough, I am not pretty enough, or entertaining enough or whatever. I was just not enough...period. In my mind I thought I had to be the be all and end all of his existence.

Of course I reversed that paradigm and felt he should do the same for me. Of course that wasn't the case. I expected him to just understand my woes, I expected him to "get" me and fix me. I didn't want to have to explain myself, I just wanted him to know how I felt. I must have been thinking that true love comes with x-ray vision or something. If I had to tell him it defeated the purpose of having that "special one" in your life that just knows you to the core. Again a very silly notion and we both failed in this ridiculous endeavor of being someone else's everything! As much as I love Michael Buble's is a fantasy. The melody is beautiful but the lyrics are wrong. It was a rude awakening to discover I was not the center of his universe after all! Hmmm..

Young love may be exciting but it sure can be dumb too. I'd trade the some of those raging hormones for straight thinking and realistic exceptions any day of the week. Hindsight is 20/20. Here is what I think is a better way of being that special one.

The Awakening~The Seedling Of An Oak

Realize that you and you alone are responsible for your happiness. No one can make you feel a certain way without your permission. No one else can fix you. That is your job. Their job is identical. You cannot take another person's pain and suffering away but you can be a loving support.

Jim's brother was killed in a terrible accident when he was 26. He and Jim were a year a part and best friends. This was when I first realized he was hurting so much and I couldn't fix it for him. I felt the frustration of wanting to but, I just couldn't. It was the first real glimpse of a catastrophic problem that clearly had absolutely nothing to do with me. When I tried to make it better and couldn't...I gave my support. If I had simply gone there first it would have been great but I had to take the long way around to learn.

I had to be patient, I had to deal with my own deep sorrow over Gary's death and I had to put whatever I felt I needed during that time on hold. That was good for me! It was hard for me. I needed things too. We had a 2 month old and a three year old and we were moving the same month.

I learned really quickly that I had to look out of myself even in my own stress and suffering because he couldn't give to me then. I had to look out and towards him, love him, comfort him and everything else was secondary. If I needed help I asked others..that was hard too but I didn't want to put another thing on him at that time. He carried on with the things he had to do and worked hard but I didn't want to add to it. That was a good lesson in how to love unconditionally. I learned we have to be a supporter not a fixer.

The Goal~The Mighty Oak

To truly love another person we need to allow them time and space for their own personal growth. By being loving and tolerant and understanding we can give them peace as they seek to become their best self. There truly is a lot of wisdom in the thought that God isn't finished with either one of us yet. Love and tolerance and patience and forgiveness bring tremendous growth into a relationship.

These paths to learning are long ones and we are so not there yet but we are on the right road. When I get upset about something I sing a hymn in my mind...You know the one about the Mote and the Beam? We are two separate people, with a common mission and purpose. We are on a journey...we are becoming better at being of one mind and growing. Isn't that 'becoming' what earth life is all about? I wish we had truly known that way back then! But that wasn't part of the plan. Growth comes with nurturing and patience and caring and time and experience.

Growth Over Time =


Marie said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts on enduring love Bonnie. I wish that Todd and I had met each other when we were younger so that we could have grown together. Young love is pretty wonderful, as naieve and stupid as it can be. Old love is pretty special as well, but a lot different. ♥ this post! Great insights here.

LA Adams said...

I have young adults looking for spouses, I hope they can see and learn these insights early. Thanks so much.

Caroline Craven said...

So true, so true. Not only did I spend time trying to fix hubby (still trying to do that sometimes, even though I don't realize it), but even more importantly, I was always trying to fix my kids. Isn't that what good parents do? I am always trying to remember to guide, not push, and then to support when mistakes are made and not fix, or worse yet, judge. Some of life's lessons will take a lifetime to figure out.