Valentine’s Day is not something I care about. Love is a 24/7 emotion.
It’s little things that someone does for others never anything that you buy. It’s showing your loved ones they can be sure you’re available to help or comfort them any time of any day. It’s going without in order to give support. It’s being present for your family and friends. It’s thinking there’s no greater reward than seeing your loved one happy and safe. It’s forgiveness.
Most of all, it is doing all those things for others because you’ve taken the time to know “Who they are.” not by trying to make them into someone that you wish them to be.
Once upon a time… There was a man, named Sidney, who hated crows! They’d wake him up with their incessant squawking… they’d pilfer seeds from his garden … and they’d overwhelm his yard driving his favorite songbirds away! He took this all quite personally. So, Sidney took every opportunity to throw things at crows. He also enjoyed swerving after them when they fed on carrion in the road. But his worst assault came when he fired his BB gun at them and finally killed one. The crows had watched. AND The crows remembered. A few days later, he ventured out on his dog walking route. All was eerily quiet. “There we go. Hide you sumbitches! Good riddance.” Sidney felt extremely satisfied and confident on that sunny morning. But two minutes along, he was bombarded by acorns from above followed by at least one hundred black birds swooping and driving the dogs wild. The dogs got tangled in each other’s leashes and tripped Sidney to the ground, finely pulling loose and running off in four different directions. After spending 2 hours rounding up his charges, he returned them to their owners, and then angrily limped home. That’s when he found every flowerpot on his patio upended, all his line-drying clothes on the ground, and his skylight cracked! Sidney found new property damage and encountered swooping harassment every time he left his house for the next week. His anger turned into fear… then his fear became regret. When he finally had had enough there was no doubt that he needed to be the one to seek forgiveness. After dark, he set up a large crow-friendly feeding station in the center of his yard. Then he disappeared, becoming a recluse, only peeking out-now and then-from behind drawn drapes. He’d been defeated and was hopeful that his surrender would be understood. The usual ten crows cautiously returned in a few days. Then, his moment of redemption became available when an eagle swooped after the feeding crows and, without hesitation, he raced to their rescue waving his arms and cussing at the top of his lungs! “Git outta here you sumbitch!” Immediately, the predator left, and Sidney wasted no time putting up a pop-up canopy over the feeding station to deter any more aerial assaults. No stinking eagle was going to get HIS crows!
I’ve heard they all lived happily ever after.
Before you think this is just a fairytale, you may be interested in this article:
The old soldier looked out of the hospital window watching the world, in all its brilliant color, moving along. He’d done many things he regretted having to do and, even though he’d do most of them all over again, his heart could not find peace. He wasn’t even sure that peace was really a ‘thing’. His nightmares, and night terrors, were infrequent now but the flashbacks were sharp and persistent. His doctor blamed them on his end-of-life, heavy, medication. For what it mattered, he understood that his personal journey was drawing to a close. He prayed that all his uncertainty, and self-doubt, would soon fade into oblivion. Abruptly, a hand on his shoulder made him jump! When he turned, there stood his father just as he remembered him, in his working overalls- he even had his trademark ‘five o’clock shadow’- looking down at him. Chester braced himself for a shaming lecture. His father had been a stern, somewhat cold man, who had always demanded the BEST from his son. Instead, he watched his father’s steel gray eyes soften. “Son, I’m proud of you. I’m sorry ’bout leaning on you so hard. But, I loved you too much not to prepare you for harshness that life was sure to offer. I can’t rest until you forgive me.” Chester lurched to grab his father’s hand, in both of his, when he began to feel weightless. He shouted, ” You did your best. I’ll always love you. You’re forgiven!” and his father disappeared. Alarms started to ping and Chester watched several nurses rush to his bedside. Then a bright light enveloped him and he heard his own words repeated in a most comforting, yet commanding, voice. “You did your best. I’ll always love you. You’re forgiven.”
Chester found out, in THAT moment, Peace was most definitely, ‘a thing’.
I prefer to think of it as a jigsaw puzzle. The gathering of information and ideas for us to fit together, all the while, hoping to “get the picture”.
If you’ve ever made a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces, it seems an overwhelming task, at first.
Childhood teaches us to recognize the colors and shapes.
Adolescence is a time when we can start to recognize that flat edges go on the outside… a framing. But still, so very chaotic when we realize how many pieces are left to organize.
Adulthood is the time the sky pieces are bundled and, using the colors and shapes from childhood, we start to build.
As we move along, we make new bundles. Like pieces are organized, by color, giving us a plan and a vision of becoming whole. Then we start to examine the shapes because the shapes, are the true means that, enable us to build.
Colors are the events, both good and unfortunate, that we carry. Shapes are the way we react to and use the events. Learning to live takes practice and how we deal with events,( our scruples, our curiosity and our ability to forgive) give the shapes clarity and makes them interlocking.
Finally, we find that there are few pieces left. The organizing is done and there is an ease with which we build. A life, lived well, is now a beautiful picture. Even if a few pieces have become misshapen or lost, it is a wonder to behold.
Remember to help children to recognize and define. They will need that.
Forgive adolescent disorder and marvel at their framework, instead.
Enjoy the busy, colorful adulthood that you have worked for.
Take time to reminisce with the elderly, there’s much to be learned from people who see the whole picture.
Mensen maken de samenleving en nemen daarin een positie in. Deze website geeft toegang tot een diversiteit aan artikelen die gaan over 'samenleven', belicht vanuit verschillende perspectieven. De artikelen hebben gemeen dat er gezocht wordt naar wat 'mensen bindt, in plaats van wat hen scheidt'.