Love Another Man To See The Face Of God

Hello friends. Missed you yesterday. We are on our way home from the anniversary weekend plus a few other significant dates wrapped in there.

The Marriott hotel we stayed at was sold out so getting two adjoining rooms (who wants to get arrested for child abandonment on their anniversary?) took extra maneuvering by Marriott’s good staff along with my husband’s gentle ways. We landed in an upgraded suite the size of a small country for the same previous price. I’ve never been in something like that and we all felt like superstars.
(This is sounding newsy.)

Anywho, the next day we joined my brother and his family at a matinée showing of Les Miserables at the Ahmanson Theater – we’ve planned this for a year. There we were; a few adults and a long string of children all polished and shiny. We had bought feathered masquerade masks to play it up and were dressed to the nines. The house was sold out.

We had prepared ourselves with the soundtrack, Victor Hugo‘s unabridged printed English translation (didn’t finish that yet this time around – hoping still), the 25th Anniversary recording at the The O2 and lots of chat. The kids were happy to go with their cousins and you can imagine that all should have gone well.
What to say.  Some things we must prepare for in other ways.

Sitting there, my son on my lap and just the slightest sound of tearing chocolate bar wrapper, and the head in front of us turned into a face with a mouth,

Be quiet!  

Some minutes later, my son was drinking from his water bottle,

For G–‘s sake!  Put that away!

There was more from our theater-head and after three otherwise beautiful hours, Les Miserables was over.  A lady a few chairs away from the theater-head whom I think was in his party said,

Next time choose to take them to a Disney Production, would you?  

Later in the car, my girls were wondering about the, “super mean people in front of us,” and I remembered the words still fresh in my thoughts,

To love another man is to see the face of God.

How to love?  By starting with loving me.  Who knows about those people?  I don’t.  I don’t know anything about them at all.  I can just work my junk over and grow my own bank.  Then I can love even people who are mean to my beautiful kids.  I can think about their possible frontal lobe dementia, disinhibition and medication non-compliance and empathize.  I can think about their torn families and children who’ve abandoned them and come home only on Christmas.  I can think about their missed opportunities to claim their freedom to self-care.  By starting with me, I can enter into their hurt and see that through their eyes, they see an angry unsafe world and they are suffering.  That is something of what Victor Hugo may have talked about.

When I was younger, a one o’clock Sunday matinée was when kids came but maybe not any more.  Ah well.  I saw the face of God.

Self-Care Tip – Love another man to see the face of God.

So Many Choices, So Little Time …For Self-Care

"Sophia Western", engraving after Bu...

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Self-Care Tip #198 – Being a friend to yourself might be saying,

No.

Our culture is brimming.  Brimming with…, well take your pick; walking the dogs, turning in a take-home test, watching The King’s Speech, writing a journal entry, making pancakes or reading Savvy – we have options.

However, today and often, options are stalkers we think difficult to restrain.  …More difficult, say than filing a restraining order against your husband.

Walter filed for divorce with his unhappy wife.  Vengefully, his wife turned around and filed a restraining order on him and just like that, he was unable to see his kid for over two months.  That was easy.  All she had to do was file it.

And when we have these many options, all we need to do is say, “Yes,” to one and to the rest,

No.

I love it when my four year-old son is rocking carelessly on my outstretched legs, flopping about, a happy-drunk bird-on-a-wire, and predictably although unintentionally falls.  Crumpled on the floor, he flicks his bangs back and says rather coolly,

I was okay, Mommy.  I was okaaaay.

I had tried to rest on the couch and type, doing my self-care thing after doing Mommy-stuff with the kids for a large chunk of the day.  But telling him to stop doing that really cute thing he does was not so easy.

According to The Economic and Social Research Council,

Having older siblings is not related to children’s happiness with their family, but having younger siblings in the household is associated with lower levels of satisfaction and this effect is greater the more younger siblings present in the household.

It turns out that children feel more happiness in their homes when there are fewer younger children.  They perceive that there is less energy available for them from their parents with each born child.  And I’m here to say, there is.  With my son on the floor, flicking his hair and going,

I was okaaay…,

my middle daughter kissing my shoulder and burrowing into my arm like an ear-wig, my eldest daughter came back to ask for the sixth time if I would play jump rope with her – I remembered this study.  So true.  I don’t need more options, i.e. more children who ask and I say,

No.

With these many wonderful options, choosing Me, is not always easy.  (See post, “‘You’ Are the Best Gift.”)

Now throw in a little inappropriate guilt, some ruminating thoughts, self-loathing, bad sleep, some low motivation and energy and choosing Me becomes the hardest thing anyone has come up against.

Questions: How do you choose you when you could pick so many other great options?  How has this helped quality of life for you and others in your life?  Please tell me your story.