I've been writing about loving ourselves through challenging times, today let's turn to our families. Honestly, there are times that husbands and wives, children, teens, parents, siblings just don't seem very lovable. Then what?
It's the same as with ourselves. It's when people are the least lovable that they need love the most. So we slow down and remember that they are our practice. These kids who are complaining about dinner again, these teens who aren't telling us when they'll be home, these partners who have forgotten to treat us tenderly when we need it. We take care of ourselves, of course, and we connect with our love for them.
Is there someone on your last nerve? Let's do an experiment.
Think of them now and feel how that is in your body. Does anything happen? Maybe muscles constrict, breathing changes, you feel warm or cool somewhere, there's an empty feeling. . . Just sense what happens.
And now, can you remember this same person in a wonderful moment? The moment you first held your child? A time your teen was enthusiastically telling you about something they learned? Kissing your partner? Think of a specific wonderful moment. Stay with it for a few minutes, breathing and remembering, imagining their face radiating happiness. And now notice how you feel in your body. Anything change?
We can remember love even during hard times just by taking the time to do it. Connecting with love is powerful because it reminds us of our true selves and reminds us of their true self. We don't do it to forget the hard times or pretend they aren't happening, but to sustain ourselves through them! So today, connect with your love for someone who has been bugging you. More tomorrow on how to work with that.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.