Tag Archives: love

Thank You

For all the good and the bad

the nice and the ugly

the easy and the difficult

for talents and faults

for righteousness and sin

 

For up and down

for heavy and light

for work and for rest

for the forest and the path

for light and for dark

for day and for night

 

For building and breaking

for health and for illness

for ease and for pain

for having and lacking

for sanity and madness

 

For peace and anxiety

for joy and depression

for yesterday and tomorrow

And for today

 

Because how else would I have known

that your grace is enough for me

 

How else would I have learnt

that your love overflows

 

How else would I have come to rest

in the safety of your arms

 

And how would I have understood

That whether on mountains or in valleys

You will always be there

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What we should learn from our Mothers, about being Mothers

The Bath by Mary Cassatt

We should learn from our mothers how not to be devils

How not to bind our children in chains

And if we already have,

How to set them free

Because we so fiercely protective, we can be seen as interfering without meaning to.  We could take charge and involve ourselves where we have no business.  In the private sanctuaries of our children’s hearts.

We run the risk of interfering because we think we know better.  We do not want our children to stumble so we stop them from venturing out and trying.  We block the little falls they so desperately need in order to avoid those big falls.

There is always the danger of not approving so often, that we become disapproving.  That our children feel unwanted and unsafe near us.  That they stay away.

My buddy told me that the day her mom died it felt like a big, black devil climbed off her back.  And so many of us have the same without even realizing it.  We are wrapped in chains and bondage to what our mothers think or might say.  That ever disapproving down-turn of the mouth.  Those criticizing eyes.  That feeling of condemnation.  The dread of nearness.

Our own mothers are from a completely different generation.  They just got on with life.   Their mothers did not run to school every time they had issues with teachers, they did not interfere in friendships because they were simply too busy.  They were not pampered and mollycoddled.  That has predisposed them to  disapprove of the way we raise our children and the way we chose to live our lives.

We should learn to set our children free, exactly because our own mothers did not release us.

And how sad to wait for it to happen in death.


Approval no longer needed

Today has been seriously shitty.  I cannot think when last I had an argument with someone that turned so nasty.  And why?

I think that years of watching, complaining and pulling a nose up at me finally came out.  Well excellent.  It is not good to bottle your emotions nor to hold up a front.  If you have something to say, then say it.  Otherwise, just stay away.  You really and truly no longer have to walk bent under the obligation of having to see me, or deal with me, or love me or care for me or be interested in me or like me or anything.  Just say you don’t like, love, want or whatever, and walk away.

I know I fall so short of your expectations for me.  I know you soooooooo disapprove.  I see it in the way you look at me and talk to me.

Well you know what?  I actually don’t care anymore.  I cannot make you approve.  I cannot make you anything.  I can just make me do something.  And right now, all I want to do, I crawl and hide under my bed in the hopes that you will never look there, ever.

You have shackled me in chains.  You bind me with that look in your eyes.  That mouth that pulls down every time I open mine.

And you always tell me that you are oh you are so proud of me, not so?  Crap!  You are not proud, you are just so surprised that I did not turn out to be a pile of shit on the side of the road, or a corpse in a gutter.

Get real.  Please.  Maybe then I can walk free.  To be what and who I am.  To say what I want, when I want, how I want.  This is my life, and I don’t need your permission anymore.  Your approval is no longer needed.


Love parted

They were sixteen when they fell in love.  They graduated together.

They couldn’t keep their hands off one another and did not go out much.  Preferring to stay home to watch movies and cuddle.  Doing everything together, as young love does.

Someone drew a cartoon of everyone who matriculated that year.  They were the only two depicted as one.

Her dream was to study at a prestigious acting school in Los Angeles.  She was selected, and left.  He remained behind to pursue his studies.

All the parents watched.  And sighed.

Now it is their third year apart and he still has three years of studying ahead of him.

Both mothers’ hearts break for their children.  But they do not interfere.  How do you give advice on something you have no understanding of?  Courting over Skype in spite of an eleven hour time difference.  Touching physically for a little while only twice a year.

While so young and restless.

What everyone does understand is that if this relationship makes it, they would have earned it.  The usual issues that crop up and are dealt with over time has to be sorted out quickly.  Like jealousy and trust.  All of us might have time to fight it, or fight about it.  They don’t.  You cannot distrust the other at night when you are alone in your bed, and make it work.  Trust for them is a decision, not a feeling.

Everyone who knows them, roots for them.  Because they deserve it.

They take it one day at a time, with the optimism of their youth.  Not looking too far into the future.  Not sweating the small stuff.  They simply love, and believe that they are loved.  Trusting that this love will be rewarded.

I know that they will both be richer for having had one another, no matter what.  I also understand that to pass this test, they need character, and strength, and endurance, and faith.  Which the passage of time, and the separation itself provides.

These two stones rub against one another, sanding hard.  The pain released builds character which will be its own reward in time to come.

You are so faithful and brave my little children that my heart aches when I look at you, when my thoughts touch upon you.

I pray God’s favour over you.  May He give you all the desires of your hearts till there is room for no more.   And keep you strong and content, and faithful, and pure.

I have so much I want to ask for you, but rest in asking that His will be done.  Because I don’t know what is best for you, nor do I know what the future holds for you.

And it is not for me to decide.


There is enough time in a day

Here are two facts:

  • The more you do, the more you get done
  • The less you do, the less time you have even for little things

When my drinking was at its worst I hardly functioned.  Everything seemed like an insurmountable mountain, so I just shelved it.  Which meant I had to do the same with every new task after that.  It all just snowballed.  I copied what I had to do today into tomorrow’s calendar, then into the day after and so forth until even re-writing it became too much.  The guilt and worry over all my unfinished business haunted my nights.

Under normal circumstances though, I find that even when I have a lot to do, there is always a bit of time to tackle something else.  Because it is true that each day has enough time for the things of that day.  And you will be rewarded with that wonderful sense of accomplishment when you have completed all you had set out to do.

Your body produces adrenalin when you are busy which propels you forward.  It helps you do and achieve more.

It is so easy to get home tired and be unavailable to those who love you most.  A good rule is to allow yourself and/or your spouse thirty minutes from when you step in the door to unwind.  To do whatever you want.  Afterwards it will be easier to face and listen to your family.  We are not a chatty household.  But we always know what is happening in one another’s lives.  When there is a problem, I set the table and we discuss the issue at dinner.

I am always so pleased when I complete the evening’s cooking because it is the very last thing I have to do.  After that I can officially wipe out the “5th of February 2012”. There is a great sense of relief in retiring to my bedroom.  It is also the time that partners talk and enjoy one another.

Getting through each day without worry or stress requires faith.  It also requires staying in the moment and not running ahead of yourself.  When we were tied up on the floor during our armed robbery, I had the pleasure of realizing the concept of staying in the moment.  There was no point in thinking about what they could do to us.  What use would it have been had I considered that they could gang-rape me?  And that they probably had AIDS?  Or that they could shoot us?  Instead, I stayed focused on what was happening at that instant, so that I could do whatever was best for that moment.  The preservation of our lives outweighed all scary future scenarios.  I was fully anchored in each exact second.  Which created a sense of calm in everybody and ultimately saved our lives.

So, make a list of everything that needs to be done today.  And don’t stress about it.  Tackle them one at a time without worrying about the next one.  And if there is something that you cannot get to, put it under tomorrow.

Because, tomorrow is a brand new day.


When is a house a Home?

For me, home means safety and security.  That is what our armed robbery almost destroyed.

It is also a place of love, comfourt, forgiveness and caring.  We should feel safe inside our homes, protected from the outside world.  But we should also feel secure in one other, and protected by one another.

The people in a home should be transparent with each other, yet have enough love to overlook a host of transgressions.  I am reminded of Liz Murray, in her book Breaking Night:  A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard of which I wrote in a previous blog.  Her parents were both drug addicts and she was out on the streets early on.  I kept wondering why Liz became the success story that she is in spite of her background and circumstances.  The only answer that presented itself to me was love.  Her parents were honest about what they were, and they loved her.  She never doubted that and it was this love that allowed her to rise above what seemed to be her destiny.

Inside a house there might be much or little, neither which make for a loving home.  Parents who admit their mistakes do.  Children who respect their parents though they might not agree, do.  People who accept one another’s faults, do.

Two, or four, or however many people living together have to be able to give one another space.   My Uncle and Aunt had seven sons, one after the other, nine in one house which was by no means spacious.  They had to learn to cohabit their home in a way that made them one unit, yet where each still had enough space to be an individual.

It is not always easy to share your space with others, especially if your personal bubble is big, and you crave a lot of ‘me time’.  But therein lays the secret.  That which hurts, grows.  That which scrapes and scours, builds.  That is what the people in your home do.  They build character in you, they teach you, and they grow you.

Left to yourself, you would never become what you are ultimately, capable of being.


On men, and feminism

Men are funny.  I love the way men just naturally assume that they know better, that they are superior drivers and that in fact, they are more qualified at most things than women.  My men specifically have an inborn confidence, and a belief that they can do anything and succeed.

From a very young age my sons believed that I was a bad driver, and they still do.  So does my husband and my Dad.  And, to be honest, it is true to some extent.  But that is another story.

Another amazing talent they have is the capacity to think themselves thinner than what they really are.  Women imagine themselves bigger, whereas most men think they look pretty good, even if they carry a “little” spare weight.

I have never been a feminist and never will be.  I believe men to be better chefs, mechanics, drivers and everything else.  But PLEASE!  I know there are exceptions to every rule and that there are women who outshine their male counterparts in all areas known to mankind.  I am just a bit biased.

I like a touch of male chauvinism, it suits a man.  Not the rude, overbearing, condescending kind, rather, just that little touch of superiority that makes a man, a man.  The type that affords a real woman a giggle.  Without it, women would snatch up the world’ pants supply and what would become of our society when all men turn into wimps, ruled over by slipper-wielding fiends?

While I understand why men would help with house duties when both partners work full day, I cannot begin to comprehend why men would do it when their wives stay at home.  And believe me; this phenomenon is on the increase.  I don’t only put this down to lazy women, but also to husbands not prepared to take charge.  Even more criminal are men who are forced into nightly baby duties when mommy stays home all day.  In Afrikaans it is called “slapgatgeid”, literally slackness in the posterior region.  But once again, this is just my opinion.

A home where the wife wants to be the boss is a house divided against itself, and a home at war.  Man was born and bred for the position and will fight anyone trying to usurp his authority without even realising why he is doing it.

I am of course referring to normal men, not bullies who beat their wives or lord over their children.

As with everything else in life, there has to be someone with the final say, the leader.  Every organisation on this earth needs one chief and a couple of Indians.  And in the home, the man has to be allowed final authority, even when he makes mistakes.  He too has to learn how to steer his family through life successfully but he will never learn without erring first.  We all stumble when young but as we mature, we gain understanding and knowledge.  Real love conquers all, and forgives all.

The most successful families I know, ones where the children are obedient and respectful and the wives lovely and confident in themselves, are households where the Dad has a firm grip on things.  These are families where everyone understands that Dad’s word is the final say on any matter.

Both genders have their place, neither to ever be above or below the other.  Instead, they stand side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder, with the women’s just slightly behind the man’s.  He is, and should be allowed to be, the head of the home.