LOVE in the Family

Ahhhh….the four-letter word which is cherished by many and feared by some, depending on your experience and perception.

Love between a parent and a child, amongst friends/siblings, between lovers, spouses, the list goes on and on. Love connects people. It gives us that tingling, exciting feelings; making us smile to ourselves, like a silly person; makes our footsteps so light as if we walk on air; the world indeed looks beautiful and wonderful when one is in love. On the other hand, it is also about sacrifices, giving up something in the name of love? It also means to let go even when we don’t want to. Heard of the saying, “If you love it, let it go; if it comes back to you, it’s yours; but, if it doesn’t come back to you, it’s just not meant to be.” Love also makes us selfish but it lets us forgive. I’m sure you can add more to this list….please feel free to do so. I would like very much to know what it means to you….

What is love to you, my friend? For me, I am most grateful to be showered with love from my parents, brothers, friends, romantic one with my life partner, which then grows to include love for my children.

When I was a daughter, growing up, I did not know the depth of a parent’s love and what unconditional love means until I became a parent myself, for the first time.

When I was a wife, after the fairy tale period (you know, all the wedding prep to reception and honeymoon), it suddenly dawn on me that love is not all about me and my happiness! It’s about “US”. We argued a lot because we had a lot of adjustments to make. Life was like roller coasters. What we learnt through this is that it is alright to “fight” so long we fight for the common thing i.e. our marriage. We argue to make each other understand our points of view and our feelings simply for the sole purpose to make this marriage works. Not about me winning. We once read in an article from Reader’s Digest, which wrote that if you fight to win, you’ll end up losing (though you won the argument). But, if you fight for the partnership i.e. the marriage, you both end up being winners! So right!

When I was a first time mother, with my baby running high temperature when he was 1 day old, I prayed so hard that my heart hurt – I also asked for my life to be exchanged with that of my son. I forgot everything I learnt about impermanence. About whatever we receive on this earth, we are just acting as a trustee (this was told me to by a Muslim friend). I didn’t care because I just wanted my son to have the chance to live in this world, to grow to see it, experience it and contribute something in return. That’s parental love.

As the children grow up, out of love, I face situations whereby I have to say “No” to them, no matter how much I like to say “yes”. I know by doing this, over time, they would understand why. There were also situations when, being their life coach, I refused to make decisions for them, trusting them to do it on their own. I allow them space to grow at their own capacity with occasional nudges to move them forward. I also help them plan, whereupon I provide the structure and they fill in the contents.

Love does make the world go round and round like a ferris wheel. When does that stop? When we forget to love or when we stop loving, I guess. What say you?

Hope the word Love will take away the blues on your Monday 🙂

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