“I Love You Anyhow!”
Have you ever had someone in your life say those words to you? Did you wonder what the “Anyhow” was? Had you not lived up to that person’s standards, dreams, or expectations? Were the standards, dreams or expectations ever discussed with you? How did you feel and react to the statement? In your mind, had you done or not done something to fall short of the standards, dreams, or expectations?
We can never hold true love, unconditional love as a bartering chip. If you do, it is not love. It is a prison of shame and guilt you hold over their head.
I had to learn this the hard way. I came from a house where love was given or removed on a conditional basis of behavior and perceived behavior. We were always vying for this thing called “love”. Even into adulthood I watched as my sisters and brother extend and reach out never to grasp the one thing they wanted.
I have learned through 42 years of marriage and raising two children that love, true love, is unconditional. There will be times of disagreement and times when actions do not align with the behaviors we wished. Probably from both directions. The one thing that stayed constant in our house and still is that nothing you can do can separate you from our love. This is the great lesson I have learned from knowing Jesus. There is nothing that will ever separate me from Him.
I watched our granddaughter today playing on a blanket just learning how to hold her head up and do her best to start crawling and wondered how could any parent or human being not love this child or any child? They come into this world totally dependent on us. They watch us, listen to us and emulate us.
I had to ask myself what kind of things do I want her to hear, see, and experience? Did I do a good job with our children? What could I have done better? The answer surprised me.
- Be home more
- Be an intentional listener
- Try not be reactionary
- Speak nice about the people I worked with
- Speak nice about the job that I had
- Be thankful for everything we had
- Not be so judgmental
- Be more open with my feelings
- Be more loving to their mom
- Just be
“I love you anyhow!” I hope this never crosses your lips because once it does it can never be put back inside your mouth.
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