I love you

For years I’ve told my friends, usually females, that I love them. I say it for a few reasons: I actually do love them, I want them to know that, it feels good to say it.

So what do I mean by “love”?

love

love (Photo credit: Ju-x)

It’s kinda of a loaded word. We all want to be loved. But I suspect most people don’t really feel loved. Maybe we think too much of romantic love. Many of my friends are divorced and everyone has had their heart broken at some point. That reminds me that I actually know a women who was waiting at the altar for her groom and he never showed. He called later to apologize for his change of heart. But I digress.

I’m not sure we think much of brotherly love and how precious it is. So obviously I’m referring to brotherly love. And perhaps what I really mean is more like a warm fuzzy feeling plus appreciation. When I say it, it also implies that I’m here for that person. Then there is Godlike love, unconditional, an amazing concept that I’m not even gonna mess with here.

A member of my last team, a sensitive soul, started calling us his “work family”. After awhile he shortened it to “family.” Then he came up with the idea to say “I love you, man” as team-members on different shifts left. He noticed that some people weren’t comfortable with that (why?!), so he changed it to “love your show, man”. It caught on.

So what response do I most often get when I say “I love you”? Silence. Remember, I said this is what I say to friends. These are people I’ve known a minimum of 7 years. My longest friendship is 31 years. Over the years I think some have come to expect it. And many are able to respond in kind, although that was never what I was looking for.

Maybe it’s kinda like folks who can’t take a compliment graciously. Maybe folks struggle with feeling loveable? Well, I think that’s all the more reason to say it!

Dear readers, not sure if I did the subject justice, but it had been on my mind.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ju-x/

Mother’s Day musings

There were so many wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day last Sunday.  I hope yours was.

Most of us realize that Mother’s Day is not happy for everyone. It could be that you had a trying relationship with your mother, it could be that your mother is gone – temporarily or permanently. It could be that you wanted to be a mother and are not.

My mother passed away 10 years ago.  All that remains are great memories and her funny sayings. My children live in different states, pursuing their lives.  I used to let Mother’s Day really bring me down.  I tried to ignore it. I tried to ignore my sadness. I’d spend the day with mother-like figures in my life or with young mom’s.

This year I’m looking at things differently. Instead of thinking about what I’m missing, I’m thinking of all I have. And maybe that’s because of all I would have lost if my suicidal thoughts had become a reality. I have 8 kooky, rebellious, clever, beautiful children. I have a husband I love dearly and who loves me almost as much (hehehe.) I’ve traveled around our country seeing so many beautiful places and meeting intriguing people. I’ve even had the experience of being a “rich American” in a developing nation but we called it a third world nation back then.

My health has managed to remain relatively good. I have learned from and been a blessing to hundreds of folks in my professional career. And now as I move into the second half of my time here on earth, I feel I have the opportunity to start fresh. To rethink how I will perceive my environment and to tell myself great things about ME.

I’ve learned that being thankful could pull me out of a blue funk. Saying thank you to God redirects my thinking. It puts my focus back on Him, rather than me. Perhaps my most often repeated scripture is Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” – Holman Christian Standard Bible. God is true, honorable, just…so I dwell on Him.

I remember my mother saying “Thank you, Jesus” every time she came back in the house.  I thought it was kinda cute back then. Now I have a better understanding of the dangers and struggles she might have faced as a single mother. I have a better appreciation of the simplest things and situations He’s given me and protected me from.

Thank you, Jesus.