Posts Tagged With: Acceptance

The 3 sides of love

Dear You:

When his marriage ended he thought the world did, too.  We moved him and what remained into our basement.  We helped pay his bills and care for his children and tried to assure him that things would be all right.  We didn’t know how and we didn’t know when but we knew that, in time, it would.

It wasn’t long before the walls here at home closed in; he’d had enough of us and we of him.  And, as adults go, he was ready and that was fine.  He moved to a place he could hardly afford, sleeping on air mattresses and living on leftovers and cheap groceries. I worried and barely slept, because that’s just how I roll. He found a job working outside in the driving snow but he held on to the hope that one day – some day – things would be all right.

He dated a little, but there was always a part of him that he held back.  That part that didn’t trust any more. Still, we talked regularly, and with an armful of groceries, he’d hear us say again and again … that things would be all right.

Over time he and the kids settled into a routine and, when the next summer came ’round, he started to live again .. but at an inch at a time.  He grilled out and had friends over.   But it was those nights when the wee ones weren’t there with him that were the hardest.  He told me how he couldn’t sleep so he’d go for walks late at night.  He talked longingly of other families through living room windows.  He told me in a whisper how hard he prayed for one of his own.

Believing that if you dream it you can be it I asked him to tell me what he wanted.  Clearly he replied: “I want someone who gets me, who laughs, who listens, who is kind, who doesn’t yell at me when I forget something or mess up. I want someone who wants to be in a relationship not just talk about it. I want a partner. I want what you have.”

Years passed, time pressed on and he and the littles grew.  We could see what he couldn’t  –  progress.

But still, there was always something missing … and that’s where you come in.

Last Christmas, he mentioned how he’d met a girl by chance (no such thing!) and how different she was. Sweet, kind, giggly, adorable, smart, funny, and easy-going.  His list of adjectives to describe her  you went on and on.

Now that I know what I know, I know this: it might have been your brown eyes and beautiful smile that drew him in but it was your kind and accepting heart that held him there.

Did you know that he loves how you’re always cold?  I’ve never known him to buy anyone a blanket; he would have mocked anyone who did.  He bought you a red fuzzy one and talks about how cute you are under it.  Uh-huh.

He marvels that you think to pick up items he’s low on like toilet paper and milk and snacks that kids might enjoy on a field trip.

He was happiest that you were perfectly happy hopping into his truck and riding along with him on an evening work errand.

He’s different now. He smiles more. He’s also fiercely protective of you. He’s not come around as much, he doesn’t call as often, and growth is happening again.

Then there’s the littlest ones – they love you too, did you know that? The boy saved his money to bring you a present from the school carnival. The girl draws pictures … with you in them.  Even his ex-wife drops them off to you when needed.  That says so much right there.

Couple Love concept

So thank you. Thank you for seeing in my boy what I’d hoped you would:  a capable man with a goofy sense of humor, a strong work ethic, and a big heart still willing to love.   You see someone who’d help a neighbor but is just as likely to stop for a stranger, too.  A fellow who’s waited and prayed and hoped for a girl who understands, accepts and appreciates him – his strengths, his faults, his wins, his losses.  You do this – just this – and that man will swim through shark-infested waters to bring you the best glass of lemonade you’ve ever had.

My role is changing again.  He’ll always be my little boy but, more importantly, he’s your man now.  I’d like to share this quote I found some time ago ~ it’s helped me and maybe it will you, too.

“Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:

1. Acceptance
2. Understanding
3. Appreciation

Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart.

Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions?

So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.”

-Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

*dedicated to oldest boy and his girl on their engagement this past weekend.

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Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

on Acceptance

Growing up, I hated my curls.

H-a-t-e-d them.

They were temperamental, difficult and unruly.

My feelings about my hair were compounded by the fact that I had two sisters with bone-straight blond hair.

And then there was me.

Tumble-haired, curly, wild and unyielding, my hair refused to be tamed. I spent most of my time in braids and ponytails, wishing I could wear it down and swinging like my sisters could.

It wasn’t easy growing up as the younger sister to two blond bombshells.

Especially when you looked nothing like them.

Humidity?  Kapow – you’ve got hair with ‘tude.

Wind?  You’ve got tangles up the wazoo.

To this day, I wear it layered, use expensive products to manage it, and fight with it in summertime.

Then, I caught a view of something recently that completely changed how I feel:

2 1/2 year old Grand-daughter MJ's glorious curls ..

And as I listened to her mother, complain about this beautiful child’s gorgeous mane and how hard it was for her to manage, something in me shifted.

It occurred to me then that there was a reason I was given all that I was: I believe I was given these crazy curls to help a precious little someone understand that she’s absolutely perfect just the way God made her.

If I refuse to honor what He gave to me, how can I hope to foster self-acceptance in her?

I know one thing for sure: she’ll always have an ally in her Nana, who knows a thing or two about curls.

Me .. after an long day & a workout - yep- still curly!

And, just because her little face makes me smile, here’s a shot of wee MJ from the front:

"A grandchild is a gift from above; one to cherish, one to love." -Anonymous

Is there something about yourself that you’ve struggled to accept?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Growth, Love, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

It doesn’t serve me anymore

When the hubbs and I decided to relocate our family from Texas to Michigan (his birth place) eleven years ago, I was on board with the move. In fact, it was my idea.  But … I did have fears. After all, this is his home. His family. His friends. His stomping grounds. Home to his golf league, ex-wife, old girlfriends you name it.  I wondered where I’d fit in.   We’d spent nearly 10 years living thousands of miles away; building our relationship, raising the boys, and pursuing our careers.  We’d done it on our own, without family interferences and without a network of built-in friends. We made our own friends and, most importantly, we turned to each other instead of to others.   Still, I worried that his loyalty – one of the traits I admire most about him – would be tested by all those other important people.  I wondered how that might change our  relationship. Selfishly, I didn’t want to share.

So after we settled in, I went out of my way to be liked.  I insisted on hosting holiday gatherings, planning reunions and such (and no one  had been actively doing  – that should have been my first clue). I outdid myself at every gathering. We hosted Christmas parties – in our home – for 60+ and I did all the cooking. And worked full time. And. And. And. Here’s the thing:   I thought I was doing this for him. And I was, to an extent.  He enjoyed himself and the opportunity to reconnect with so many. He was as helpful as could be, providing labor for every event I volunteered us for.  But I’ve come to realize something: many of those things, I did for me. Why?

I wanted to be accepted.
I wanted to make my mark.
I wanted them to love me.

Somewhere along the way, I must have learned that love and acceptance was to be earned.  That me – just showing up – wasn’t nearly enough.

I got off the carnival ride; image from playland.org

A few years ago, I grew weary of  coordinating all the events others had come to expect. It wasn’t their fault – it’s human nature.  If you readily provide a steady stream of pleasant resources, eventually others will grow to expect them.   But I grew resentful.  I no longer found joy in it.  Under the auspices of “it’s just too much,” he agreed that we should scale things back and eventually we stopped.

Having had some time between that whirlwind of activity and now … I am able to see things a bit clearer.  Epiphanies abound. Here’s what I’ve learned: sometimes we develop a habit (or take on a role) because it fills a need at that time.  Nothing says we have to keep doing it for the rest of our days.  When the habit or role no longer serves us, it’s time to let it go. In fact, it’s necessary.

 * * * *

What habits or roles have you taken on that no longer serve you?

Categories: Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , | 28 Comments

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A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...