Tag Archives: Love

Unconditional Love

Love comes in many forms throughout our lives and we experience it differently depending on our age, our family, and where we are in life. As I reflect on my life, my family has received my unconditional love for as long as I can remember. My love has resided in my heart and at times, has been so intense that it aches. I can remember feeling the clinging, dependent love for my mother when I was a little girl, and the longing love for a father I barely got to know. I remember the loving times with my sister, spending hours playing, imagining, singing and giggling, wishing for our perception of normal. I remember the excitement I felt when my mother remarried and I had the chance to have a father to love and who would love me. I remember crushes, and more serious young love and then, the surprise of meeting the one who would change my life.

Meeting Gary, who would become my husband and my life-partner, opened the door to unconditional love apart from that of my parents and sister. The kind of love that sticks around through the years, the experiences, and the ups and downs of years of living, growing, and aging together. We were young when we met and we learned to be adults together. We shared interests and learned to appreciate each other’s passions: the ocean, music, the mountains, theater, baseball and books. We were there for each other during the happy celebrations and we waded together through the scary times.

Children come into our lives, planned, unplanned, quickly or after years of hoping. When they do, with their small, soft innocence, their sweet, intoxicating smell, and utter dependence on us to meet their every need, it is impossible not to fall in love. As our children grow, we live through their ups and downs, we are the consummate cheerleaders with the photos to prove it, and we hold out safety nets and are cushions for their falls.

Our pets show up in our lives, sometimes mysteriously, sometimes with intention. They are found in the puddles in alleys, in animal shelters and through rescue organizations. We look for the perfect companion and when we find our life-long friend, we shower them with unconditional love. We forgive them for shedding, chewing, for eating the food off our plates. We teach them to go out to pee, to sit, and try to teach them to stay off the couch. We take them for walks in the heat of the summer and in the rain. Their aging is hard for us and losing them is heartbreaking.

Life, like love, can be unconditional. We don’t have the control we want to believe we have; we learn to ride the ebbs and flows, to relinquish control and to find a way to love life unconditionally. We take the gift of each day and we look for signs of love, in heart-shaped rocks, in clouds and in the foam of a latté.

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Filed under Life thoughts, unconditional love

What if?

What if?

I am beginning with the premise of “what if?” today.  The idea came to visit me in a dream last night and I woke up with it floating around in my head, forming words that had to come out.  What if I come from a place of love when relating to all of the people in my life?  Of course there are many people in my life that I genuinely feel love for, my husband, my daughters, family members and dear friends, but what if that love could extend out like highways stretching across the map of my world?

I have been reading bits and pieces of a website/newsletter called Love and Logic and besides enjoying the title, I am interested in the premise: raising responsible children and having fun while doing it.  We spend a lot of time setting up behavior plans and consequences, structuring our children’s lives for success and focusing on preventing negative behaviors. What if, instead, we came from a place of pure love and helped children become positive, independent thinkers whose actions rise up from a thoughtful beginning?  What if we stop solving all of our children’s problems and throw the ball back to them?  What will happen?  According to Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline M.D. expectations are high.  I am willing to give it a try.

Over the past 32 years of teaching I have noticed a shift in the behavior of my students.  What is the cause?  Influence from the media?  Lack of concern from parents, or adults raising the children?  A collapse of our social structure and the standards we hold kids to?  A lack of real consequences for the actions kids choose to take?  It doesn’t really matter.  Using a method such as Love and Logic, offers a plan, hope, a solution.  I am willing to add this to my repertoire of love-based approaches to guide my students.  I have had  good success with One-Moment Meditations, Yoga, and Council, all based on coming from one’s heart, from love and from pure thought.  Teaching kids to calm their active bodies and minds allows the truth to enter.

I always think it is such a happy coincidence when the universe is able to line things up for a good idea.  During my class’ visit to the school library I came across Jon J. Muth’s books:  Zen Shorts and Zen Ties.  The title interested me so I checked them out.  What a nice surprise!  Books written to enlighten children through a wise Panda named Stillwater.  It was another nice coincidence when he was on NPR yesterday being interviewed about his new book, Zen Ghosts, and his creation of the character Stillwater.  Zen is infusing my life.

What if I come from a place of love?  Not just for those around me, for those I teach, for my family and friends that I love so dearly, but for myself?  What if I continue to nurture myself through yoga, meditation, walking, mindful eating and lots of writing?  Maybe love is contagious and everyone around me will catch it too.

John Lennon would have been 70 years old yesterday.  Listening to “Imagine,” the soothing chords, the true words and the vision revealed, reminded me that “all you need is love” is not just a wistful dream from the 1960’s, but a cry for change in 2010.  Beyond test scores, API, value-added, and seniority lies the love we are responsible to share with the people in our lives.  What if?

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Filed under change, Education, Family, Life thoughts