Joyce Hifler is always a great way to start the day! “Every thinking person knows it is easier to love someone and to accept him (or her) with a warmer and more natural feeling when this can be spontaneous rather than something expected or demanded. Making someone feel it is his (or her) duty to love, or demanding attention, will surely narrow the chances of anything worthwhile ever developing on its own. So much of the happiness of life is an invitation not a command, a leading and not a pushing. No one loves us because they ought to, or because our position in life or family demands it, but because we have attracted it to us by our ability to love rightly. Love has been called the bond of perfection and certainly this is the only bond that can endure. For it is every man’s urge to be free to express what he choose to express, and he will be free if only in his thoughts.”
I think of my first marriage here. It was a marriage that did not work, for the lack of this kind of love, and this kind of good solid bond. My first husband did not know how to love me, after years of marriage I felt he had no clue about who I was. Then he became abusive, and that ended our relationship. I let go of something I had invested in. I had thought showing love to him would teach him how to love in turn. Love does not work that way. This is what it felt like. But with my second marriage__ to my dearest Thomas. I had the most wonderful marriage because we loved each other in the ways Hilfler frames here. We did accept each other, and learned to love each other deeply. Accepting each other deepens how we feel and this turns into fireworks because of trust, belief in, and respect. Acceptance brings these fundamental things out and strengthened them. These things make the best foreplay within a relationship.
“We like to think others are the reason we live. It is a wonderful thing to love and be loved. We are inspired by such love to rise above oursleves higher than we thought possible. It gives us reason to rise in the morning, make us more ready to face the activities of the day, and help us step more easily over obstacles. If we have become disillusioned about that love, we cannot call it bad. Love is a channel and if that channel breaks down we cannot be right in falling back to be less than we know we can be. It is then that we should be grateful for the smallest part of that love and know what we have accomplished through it was by and for ourselves. We cannot attach ourselves to another person and make him (or her) responsible for us. (This is what my ex wanted from me, to be responsible for what he did. This creates resentment.) Hifler continues. We are responsible for ourselves, and no one else has the power to make or break us. We merely accept one another’s love as a gift, but the responsibilities is our own.
This is what I too had learned as I headed into my forties. I learned truly how little I knew, how much more there is to know about myself first and then about anyone else I have been affected by. We spend our lives in the early days trying to figure out who we are rather than live in the present. With both partners doing the same, well___ we are not focused on the “us” part of the relationship as much as we should be. Or if one of us is focusing and not the other___it wont work well. Why? This leads to stacking up pros and cons, perhaps score keeping for some. I did not go there with Thomas because I accepted him. With ADHD he was like all the Winnie The Pooh characters! Because of how I loved him, it was not hard to help counter balance him when he was off kilter. This allowed him time to look at his own behaviors. I was his safe zone because I loved and accepted him. It allowed us to talk about what ADHD meant for him. I eased his mind with my way of loving. I had learned how important communications was. Making someone feel heard. Regarding communications we both had a communications class when going for our degree. I think that too made a difference. We were on the same page.
Hifler: “To receive, one must first give as it has been anonymously written:
Love is the filling up from one’s own another’s cup; love is the daily laying down and picking up; a choosing of the stony path though each new day__that other feet may tread with ease a smoother way. Love is not blind, but looks abroad through other eyes; and asks not, “Must I give? But “May I sacrifice?” Love hides its grief, that other hearts and lips may sing; and burdened walks, that others lives may wing, Hast thou a love like this within thy soul? Twill crown the life with blessings when though dost reach the goal.”
May life find and fill your head and heart! Always be accountable for your words and actions. Do not end the day with angry or misgivings. Hug and kiss, use tenderness. Start with a smile, say your sorrow for less than actions. There is always tomorrow to try, try again. Life is indeed a learning curve! Be gentle with each other you have a common bond.
Pejj Nunes 2/27/2021