Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Love and War

When my son was younger, I would practically beat my head up against the bricks around the fire place in frustration. I would give and give and give of myself — my time, my energy, my soul. And yet, no matter how much I gave, it never felt like he gave any of it back. And that can be exhausting and at some point, it begins to hurt. The resentment grows. The war begins.

Now, I realize the theory of infinite love, which I was reminded of from a parenting email this morning. About how 1 + 1 = 2, but that love does not follow any rules. Love is infinite. You can add to love and it still equals infinity. Likewise, you can take away from love and you still, yes, you still have an infinite source of love.

I get that. I do.

But when you are in the moment, it still hurts when your love is unrequited. Because when you feel that way about another human being, whether it’s your mother or your child or your spouse, you so badly want them to feel that way back. You want them to smile back at you and laugh at your stupid jokes. You want them to cry with you when you cut your finger, when someone criticizes you. You want them to bring you coffee in bed when you just can’t bring yourself to get up one day. You want them to think of you when you are not in sight and also when you are. You just want to be important to them, like a treasure that they secretly found one day. That’s how it should be. Yeah, love should feel like that.

But that’s just not how it always is. Because love doesn’t follow all the rules. That’s why we say “all’s fair in love and war”. Because they are the same sometimes. Love and war. Two sides desperately seeking what they think they need, what they think they deserve or are entitled to, what they think will make a better world for themselves. You would kill for love, die for love. You would give up other deep-seated values at times to get that need met. You would cower back from who you know you really are sometimes. Because you just so badly want it all to make sense, to feel good. The thing is, you can never confuse feeling good with being in love. Because often they run on parallel courses, going on and on in either direction, forever.

All I can say is that sometimes when we begin to feel empty, running out of that special thing inside of us, we have to remember that love is infinite. That it never can be taken away from us. That somewhere inside of me, there is a bottomless well of energy and spirit and resolve upon which to draw. And I am able to give that to my child no matter what it appears he has taken from me. And I can be kind and affectionate to my spouse at the end of a long day whether or not he himself is able to do that for me. And my mom, yes her too. I can love her whether or not she stayed home with me during the long summers of my childhood.

Because it’s about today. And what I can do to feel loved and let others feel loved by me. I have that power, that wealth deep down inside of me somewhere. And my ability to do this is not dependent on what others do to me. They can neither take from me nor add to it. It is about me. Just me. And my infinite well that I know is in there somewhere. Sometimes we just have to dig a little deeper until we hit water.


June 5, 2008 - Posted by | A New Paradigm


  1. There’s so much here that I think any one of us can relate to Bethany! You really have hit the nail on the head. Some of us are natural givers and then when matched with a taker this can cause resentment (if we allow this). What you are saying is that to make this a choice. Chose to love without limits!

    Comment by danifesto | June 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. Exactly. It is a choice to be unfulfilled and dissatisfied in relationships. We cannot allow other people to put restrictions on how we feel or on who we think ourselves to be. If I believe that I am a loving being, capable of unconditional love, then so be it. Nobody can take that from me.

    And that is REAL love. Not the fake stuff we usually find in this messed up world. It’s just like I said though. Sometimes we have to dig deep inside of ourselves to really make it true.

    I hope through my blog that I can instill that into the minds of my readers. To strive for REAL love. I want people to reach for that in all their relationships. And when we can do that, we’ll have a perfect world.

    Aaah, shucks.

    Comment by amazingparents | June 10, 2008 | Reply

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