Where Love Begins

This week I am learning a lot about relationships, especially the one I have with myself.  One of my greatest teachers is my husband, Steve, who reminds me constantly what it’s all about.

Steve is a happy guy.  He doesn’t need much to make him happy, and he loves me unconditionally. I can’t tell you the number of screw-ups I’ve made over the years and he hasn’t batted an eye.  Sure, he loses his cool on occasion, but only when I am immensely stubborn and his back is to the wall. 

As a woman, my expectations at times are enormous, and my internal pressure cooker is often ready to blow.  When he sees me doing too much, or being hard on myself, he is the first to say, “Just go with the flow, mon'” (with his usual Bob Marley impression).  As he listens to all my concerns patiently and without fear, he reminds me there is nothing to fear, and to stop trying so hard to please everyone.  Just do it for yourself!  In other words: “Love yourself first.”

 Steve doesn’t care what other people think.  That irritates some (including me at times, who cares enormously).  But I admire and am amazed by his ability to let the water fall off his back.  He isn’t pretending either.  He really doesn’t let things bother him too much (except for politics).   As he hums in the kitchen (out of tune at times!) making his usual feast, his spirit is buoyed by the fact that life is good and he is happy no matter what.  I shake my head in amazement just thinking about that.

If I could be born with a brain that doesn’t think too much, doesn’t worry, and doesn’t challenge myself constantly with invincible feats, I would be happy too. But that isn’t the answer.  I was born happy.  And my worrying and need for approval didn’t come from my birth, it came from life and lessons learned that need to be unlearned.  

But even Steve would say – don’t make it so hard. It’s easy!  Just relax and be yourself.

Yesterday I was in my garden, which I have neglected again — a constant reminder of insufficiency.  I struggled to feel good about myself in the face of so many weeds and  self-neglect.  Yes, that is how I saw it.  A metaphor for me.  Rushing to quickly fix everything and make it look good so no one will notice.  But what about my self?  If I am worrying too much and doing it to look good for the neighbours, who will care in the end?  It is myself I must face in the mirror.  Appearances mean nothing if I am not doing it to nurture myself.  Why not just be with nature and relax? Why not just be here with it while no one is watching?  Can I accept that?

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A beautiful flower emerges when we let it

So I began pulling a strangling vine off of a nearby bush. That in itself was satisfying.  And I breathed. It doesn’t all have to be done today, I said to myself.  I also nurtured myself by doing a little at a time, and not over-doing.  Doing is a toxin to avoid being. 

Just Be!  he also said. (That too makes me fume at times).

But he was right.

As I lay in bed thinking about all of this, yes thinking, he is sleeping peacefully.  I could learn a lot from him. 

But in the meantime, I’m going to love Krista as much as I can.

Amen.

 

P.S. Thank you, Steve.

Amen.

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