Love Comes Out of Bad Because in Any Circumstance, Good or Bad, Love Comes

Victor Hugo-Bridge

Image via Wikipedia

Ten years ago, what were you doing in life.  Did you think you would be “here?”  Were you thinking past September 11?

My daughter asked me the other day what I meant when I said that good can come out of bad.  You know me.  I cocked my guns and started happily blazing.  Good coming out of bad has nothing to do with the badness of events.  It has everything to do with the goodness.  It has everything to do with what is stronger.  The love.  Love is stronger than anything.

Victor Hugo described La Esmerelda‘s beauty with this kind of quality around her peers.

As, however, they all possessed nearly the same degree of beauty, 

they fought with equal weapons, and each might cherish a hope of 

victory. The coming of the Bohemian suddenly destroyed this

equilibrium. Her beauty was so surpassing, that at the moment 

when she appeared at the entrance of the room, she seemed to shed 

over it a sort of light peculiar to herself. In this close 

apartment, over-shadowed by hangings and carvings, she appeared 

incomparably more beautiful and radiant than in the public place 

like a torch which is carried out of the broad day-light into 

the dark. In spite of themselves, the young ladies were dazzled. 

Each felt wounded, as it were, in her beauty.

Love, or call it goodness, has a victory to offer us.  In the presence of bad or not bad, Love is.  And because it is, the turning of bad into good happens.  In consequence to its goodness and nothing else.

...like a torch which is carried out of the broad 
day-light into the dark.

September 11, ten years ago, the streets of Boston were filled with parked cars.  The taxis were not going anywhere.  Their drivers were dazed, their radios blasting the news of smoke and buried bodies.  I was weeping with them and sat on the curb, cold with the early night, listening to their radios.  I don’t know why I didn’t go home to watch the news.  I wanted to be with these people I think.  The people.  We needed each other.  What could love bring out of this ten years later?  What would light do in this darkness?

I don’t know what your story is but I believe that Love is.  And because of what it is, in our darkness, good can come.  It has everything to do with what Love is and is all the more lovely because of the bad company.

Here is one mother’s story.  Please tell us yours.  Keep on.

Self-Care Tip – When bad is there, remember that Love is.

Life-ers – Our Beloved Flaws

Giovanni Baglione. Sacred Love Versus Profane ...

Image via Wikipedia

Life-ers.  Our flaws that are ours for life.  Not a broken leg, not a bad haircut, life-ers last as long as our genetic code stays in tact.  I was talking with my beautiful eighteen year-old niece yesterday about loving our flaws.  The look she gave me was enough to say,

“Auntie Sana, you are the crazy auntie aren’t you?

Unfortunately, when people give me that look, despite the love in their eyes telling me to stop before I make things worse, I get set off to flap harder against the air trying to make them see how to fly.  My thoughts, like little ducklings with fluff for feathers, don’t always show what they will become when they are matured in discussion and practice.  So when my niece gave me her loving, “You are crazy,” look, I started talking faster, louder and my hands were doing the up and down thing.

I wanted her to know that she will love the people she wants to love better when she does that for herself.  When she loves her flaws, seeing them like a favorite rock she’s never been able to consistently climb or a piano sonata that she has practiced over years but still trips through and loves it even though she will never be its master – when she loves her imperfect self that much then she can love me.  She can love me better when she doesn’t hate her failing self.  I fail her and will for life.  She can love me as I am when she gives herself the same passion.  She can love me enough not to want me to stay this way, when she pushes herself, works herself and throws her energy against the barriers against her own growth – why? because she loves herself enough to do that.

My niece and I talked about God too.  God loves us completely now.  He doesn’t want us to become perfect before He loves us entirely.  He doesn’t love the parts of us that don’t let Him down only.  He doesn’t divide us up between good and bad cells, genes for heaven and genes for… well, not heaven.  God loves us passionately now.  Why in the world would we think He would want us to feel any differently about our own selves?  Wouldn’t that be pretty lame if God said,

“I feel this way about you, but don’t you go accepting your own flaws.  Only I can do that.  You had better hate your flaws and despise yourself for them until they go away.”

I was reading an amazing story accounted by The Itty Bitty Boomer, where we are given some of the inner scene of one woman’s flawed and perfect self, Carie, growing to love her life-ers just like you and me.  She tells us,

“Recovering from obesity is much like recovering from any addiction – the battle is never done or over.  Over the last 3 years I have regained 25 of the 90 pounds that I lost.  I could fall easily into blame and self-hatred and beat myself up for failing again … but I do not think I’ve failed. And the more I keep myself in that mindset … the easier it is for me to keep on track to dump the pounds picked up.”

Speak it!

Self-Care Tip – Love your life-er.  Have you given your life-er a hug today?  (Smile.)

Questions:  What are your life-ers?  Are you able to love them yet?

What do you think about a God who asks you to love yourself either differently than He does or as well as He does?  How do you see it?  Please tell us your story.

Let Love Come, Even When It Poops On You

There are not many people who can poop on me whom I will still want back.  Today, sitting at Olive Garden I noticed some brown on my white linen pants.  I thought, “Oh bummer, my soup spilled.”

Salad

Image by adactio via Flickr

The food was delicious.  I love their salad and minestroni soup.  Yum.  People say that the Olive Garden salad is the healthy food that really isn’t healthy and I believe them.  Especially because I always eat like it’s a challenge.  As if this may be the last salad I’ll get for weeks or perhaps I’m being filmed and about to get a prize for eating so much salad.

We were there with family, including my nieces and parents.  You may remember my youngest niece who was born premature and damaged, yet dominated the NICU at UCSD with her rapid developing health.  Remember how loopy I am over the perfect white and soft nape of her neck?  Well she is about one and a half years old now, weeble wobbles all over the place, and she loves me.  She really loves me.  I have thought that perhaps she may know something the rest of the bozos around are missing and I quietly congratulate her often.

Today, of course she wanted me.  We sat and snuggled and she gave me the ultimate compliment of letting me feed her.  After her third visit, and the fact that the brown spots on my pants kept reappearing, I finally let the truth sink in as well.  I had been pooped on.

After three babies of my own, anyone would think I should have known better, or perhaps been less repulsed.  But let me tell you thinkers.  I was so grossed out.  It was all of me not to lose my salad.

We all got cleaned up.  Mostly of course.  FYI – it’s not that easy to get poop out of linen in a public bathroom.  I was given lots of space by everyone thereafter.  Except from my niece.  Yes.  She was back.  And yes.  I wanted her.

Now, how to get a self-care nugget out of this?  Bring a change of clothes wherever you go and let love come.  Even when you get pooped on.

She Is Worth It, But Maybe Not Because Of What You Think

Woman in satin dress holding mirror

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

She is worth it!

Have you said that? Half crazed from this-way-that-way behaviors, your battered psyche crawls out of the smoking heap from your most recent relationship collision. There are times when this is absurd to continue. But have you ever seen those people who crawl out smiling? Sure their eyes are rolling around on their face but they are smiling. That might be you too. And there’s a reason for it. However the reason may not be what you think.

She is worth it!

I’m not disputing “her” value in this admirable exchange that takes all your energy. But what I do dust off from the good “encounter” we just spoke of is that although she may be worth it, I propose that isn’t the reason you think it is. The reason is you.
You find pleasure in it because of what it does for you. You think you are worth it, and you are.

Even the Bible says,

We love because He loved me first. 1 John 4: 19

We love because of what it does for Me. God isn’t surprised by that or looking down His nose at our motivation. It sounds like He is actually embracing it – fully consented.
Remember when we talked about inevitable selfish motives, secondary gain and the absence of altruism in us? Is that an ugly thing about us? I don’t think so. It is what it is.

Now this does not evaporate the connection, the realness of the exchange between two, the value of the bond or its quality. See blog-post, Things Will Always Be About “Me.” It does nothing else but discuss the motivation. I believe understanding our motivation to remain in a relationship is important not to devalue it or value it differently, but to help us take care of our own selves.
She is worth it. That isn’t the question.

What can go wrong in our self-friendship when we think we are motivated by reasons outside of what is in it for Me? What do you think? I think it distracts us. It’s wasted energy and we don’t have enough to waste. Getting it right, puts energy into us. Getting it wrong, takes energy away.

Yesterday we talked about wanting to connect with someone who has character pathology. Any of us can say that this is hugely energy depleting at times. If we think we are doing this for any other reason than for ourselves, we will get “burned” much more often than we might if we understand that we choose, consented, freely and for ourselves. We will wear the victim-crown and die the death of worn out do-gooders who lived to do nothing really but bemoan their special suffering existence. See blog-post, Please Don’t Say “But.”

Self-Care Tip – Do things for yourself with self-knowledge.

Soaking him in

Evening friends. Or morning. Spent the day today and will tomorrow being present with the father of my children. Can’t give what we don’t have and I’m thankful, humbly, to say that I have love for him. That’s currency of sorts I suppose. There have been sad times for us when I didn’t have bank.
What has being a friend to yourself invested in you? Do you find love there? You were made for it. Blessings! 🙂
Self-Care Tip # I can’t remember! – Give to yourself love and friendship and you will find love and friendship where it dwells.

Imagine If You Were Your Own Friend, And Take Your Advice

Postcard - Sexy Woman writing a letter

Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL) via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #234 – Imagine if you were your own friend, and take your advice.

Joana Johnson, author of CreatingBrains.com, full-time mom of six, part-time University history teacher, student, wife, confidant, friend and sister-in-law… (no she’s not running for president) …Joana asked me today,

Write a letter to someone you love sharing what you want them to do to take better care of themselves.  You don’t have to give it to them or you can.

Now imagine what letter with what self-care requests would someone who loved you write to you?

…You’re right.  I’m going to have to talk her into running for president.

And so, I offer this challenge to you.  I wonder after you.  I am sitting in waiting.  Please tell us this part or more of your story.

Self-Care Is About More Than “Me”

Self-Care Tip #208 – If for no other reason, get friendly with yourself simply to survive and you’ll see what that means later.

my self care reminders

Image by CatrinaZ via Flickr

It is not unusual to think of “selfish-care” when we hear “self-care.”  I can imagine children gripping their mother’s skirts more tightly, husbands pulling their helpmate’s hands away from this influence, church-folk sniffing over rejections to service-calls or friends personalizing the way their phone doesn’t ring as much as it used to.  This is a natural response, although it is a false perception.  Think – feeling suffocated by her penance, he’s wearing a martyr’s cross or she’s giving to us from victimhood.  Those are the times we would rather not receive the gifts of time, person or anything dripping with that kind of guilt and implied debt. This kind of service comes from someone impoverished, giving on credit.

I’ve been known to say, “We can’t give what we don’t have.”  Or as Jasmine said,

You can’t give someone a ride if you’re all out of gas!

So when is self-care selfish?  To be true to what self-care is, I’d say almost never.  However, because the question comes from such an intuitive fear in any of us, “never” can’t be an entirely fair answer.  To answer it best though, we need to turn it over and go back to trying to discover why we wanted self-care first.  What brought us here?  Jacqui said it well in yesterday’s post-comments:

Ditto about ‘self-care boot camp’. I may steal that one. You’ve given me permission to be selfish if need be. It’s all about self-preservation.

Sometimes we are reduced to self-preservation.  It has an intensity to it, a survival mode of live or die, which may be appropriate to a desperate condition in life.   Many of us know what that feels like.  So in this context, self-care is in part about survival.  Alright.  But is survival a selfish need?  Are we worth that little?  Does the life in us hold value only at that level?

rejuvenation.self.care.logo

Image by guttersnipe.76 via Flickr

You hear the clomping my words are making and can follow that I answer, no.  Survival has far reaching significance.  I matter.  You matter.  We have value beyond our own selves and Me booting up to live better also ripples over those same infinite number of connections.

I am confident that if for no other reason than getting friendly with yourself simply to survive, you will still see at least some of what more that means later.  Self-care is about more than Me.

Question:  When do you think self-care is selfish?  Why do you think self-care is not?  Please tell me your story.