Thursday, March 22, 2012

Love, and why we all need it.

It's important to evaluate each of our own current situations.  The beauty of one's current situation is that it's ever-changing, requiring constant evaluation.  Everyone has good days and bad, high days and low; or at least I assume everyone does.  I know I do, so I talk about them in hopes that you all will say, "Yeah, I have highs and lows too!"  And in that, we both see that we are all only human beings who always need reaffirmation of our own normalcy.

My current situation (as in this very moment in my day) is that I'm incredibly content.  The weather is back to its gorgeous self today - eighty degrees and sunny with bright blue skies and all is right in the world.  With all the rain we had early this week, the wildflowers are blooming and the mountains are becoming green again.  As I walk outside, I feel the heat penetrate my skin and my soul drinks up the warmth, the sun, the inherent "goodness" that comes with these kind of perfect Arizona spring days.  Happiness today smells like fresh citrus blossoms opening.

I have the evening to myself.  Usually, I prefer to share my evenings with my wife, but with her job that isn't always possible.  Sometimes, I take advantage of a night home alone and do things I'd never do if she were here.  Things like eat buttered toast and Frosted Flakes for dinner, or sit on the couch for several hours to wax sentimental in a blog or on Facebook about how wonderful life is.  Or talk on the phone to my mother for an hour.  Sometimes, these things just need to be done.

I've come to the slow realization that my adult goal in life is to be direct and honest with other people.  It's one I'm figuring out how to do more consistently, because it can pose a real challenge for me to not only be honest, but to be completely honest.  I see a lot of deceptive and manipulative tendencies in myself, and it can be difficult to rein those in.  I also tend to be on the more subtle side, even calculating.  The person who taught me most about these things in me and why they aren't good qualities (and how to see them) is my wife, my T.  And she's right about them; about me.  The person I am and the person I allow myself to appear to be are often different, and I dislike that.

I veered ever-so-slightly off topic.  Back to being direct and honest with other people.  This whole thought process (however disorganized it may be) was sparked by the aforementioned conversation with my mom tonight.  I tend to learn a lot of things about myself and about humanity while I talk to my mom - which is just one of many reasons I value her so highly.

Important realization: People need truth.  No one is so highly placed that they don't require truth, affirmation, understanding, and love.  I believe I've known this for a long time, but never before have I thought about it in such simple terms, in such complex meaning.

An example.  When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and learned that the only treatment option available to her would actually kill her faster than the disease process, she was angry and saddened.  But when my uncle went to see her after learning about her impending death, he never mentioned the cancer or anything associated with what that meant for my grandmother's life.  I believe he was trying to be polite, afraid of bringing up death because as a society we fear death and we fear to be perceived as rude by people who matter to us.  In truth, my grandmother was greatly upset that my uncle, her son, never told her that he was sorry she had cancer and he was sorry she was dying.

That was all my grandmother wanted.  She wanted the acknowledgement of others that she had cancer, and that she was not long for this earth.  She wanted to know that she was loved and that she would be missed.

Many people must surely think that those things my grandmother wanted reassurance of are "givens".  Of course I'm sorry you're dying.  Of course I will miss you once you are gone.

But why doesn't anybody want to say that out loud?  To the person whom it affects the most?

I am completely and utterly guilty of this: I feel upset, or slighted, or pissed off, or sad about something, yet I don't say anything directly about it to the person who could help me resolve these feelings.  Why?  What am I afraid of?  Being vulnerable?  Showing weakness?  Crying?

Maybe all three.  I'm not sure.  I see that it's a problem I have, and yet I still struggle to correct it.  Perhaps someday I'll be better at it and cause myself less heartache over trivial things.

I possess a strong resolve inside me now.
I resolve to stand up, to speak out, when someone does something that touches me.
I resolve to be honest when someone asks for my opinion.
I resolve to be less subtle and more forthcoming, to stop foolishly expecting others to read my mind.
I resolve to ask for help when I need it.
I resolve to help others whenever and however I can.
I resolve to be more selfless.
I resolve to let my loved ones know how much I care for them and how important they are to me.
I resolve to be the best person I can be, in hopes that one day my children can be proud of their mama and the life she chooses to lead.

We all need love.  We all need truth.  We all need reassurance that we're doing the right thing, doing a good job.

My question is: If we all need these things, why do many of us spend so much time trying to keep one another down?

Lift someone up today, instead of putting them down.  Instead of keeping quiet when they reach out.  Instead of standing idly by as someone else hurts them.

Instead of trying to think why you're better than them, maybe try to think what you could learn from them.


  1. What a lovely, positive and self aware post! Fantastic :)

  2. Argh. I need to go and do this, I just don't know how--one of my coworkers miscarried twins a few months ago, and it's so awkward to see her now. I'm so saddened by her loss, but I feel like being around her this pregnant only makes it worse. I stifled the inclination to leave her a card when it happened, and now I just feel strange to run into her. But you make a good point that I need to get it together and actually go say something.

    1. For whatever my opinion is worth, I agree that something should be said. I don't think she is going to want to become your best friend, since you are about to have a brand new baby and all, but I'm willing to bet that some sympathetic words about her loss as well as some supportive ones would be appreciated. My cousin and his wife just lost their baby at 18 weeks, and there isn't a lot to say. Certainly nothing to make it better. But I wanted him to know I was sorry and that I love them.
      Good luck.