ARTWORK BY Jorge Cocco Santangelo
Of all the things Jesus Christ taught us, loving each other was the core principle. He set the example by being willing to die a horrible death....all alone. (None Were With Him)
In Matthew 19:19 Jesus says "Honour thy father and thy mother...." No conditions! NOT only when they fed you, or were kind to you, or supported you, or if they weren't an alcoholic, but honor them with no strings attached. Easy to say but hard to do. It wasn't until after my parents died that I could find it in my heart to honor and love them. I missed out on an opportunity of feeling amazing for too many years.
Jesus said in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." Here are some ways to show love:
*Listening instead of speaking
*Understanding instead of judging
*Praising instead of criticizing
*Caring instead of condemning
*Giving instead of needing
If we have a such a strong desire to follow the Savior, why are these things so difficult to put into action? BECAUSE we are all humans; as humans our egos interfere with our good intentions to choose what's best, especially in developing strong connections with our adult children.
They are adults with their own humaness who have different opinions that ours. Our ego wants to control them as if they were young children; our ego wants to point out their mistakes; our ego wants them to think and act like we do; our ego thinks it knows what's best for them. The result is these thoughts cause us more suffering than we want to feel.
The Savior never said love them when they change their behavior. We say "of course I love my children no matter what they do." But if love always feels amazing, which it does, why do we sometimes feel disappointed, unimportant, unappreciated, unloved in our relationships with them? We are probably having some judgement about about Subconsciously we feel love when they behave in a certain way.
Our lower brain has us think if asked if you love your children, "yes, I will always love my child." But our higher brain doesn't believe it, so the result is that you don't always FEEL love, you feel hurt. Loving someone with no conditions expected is for our benefit, not the other persons'.
When we start having judgmental thoughts about someone else's behavior, I prevent myself from feeling unconditional love.
*1. Other people's behavior can't make me feel a certain way.
*2. We can't control someone else's behavior
*3. We don't know with a surety what the outcome of another person's actions are going to be.
We need to focus more of our lives on "fixing' ourselves and less on "fixing" our children who are now adults. We have to learn to transition from a child/adult relationship to an adult/adult relationship. Our love doesn't diminish but to unconditionally love them we need to change our thoughts of how they should be showing love to us.
When my son doesn't want to come to dinner with our family on Sunday evenings, I get to choose what I want to think about his decision. How I think about it will determine if I feel hurt or if I feel love. Love always feel best so I'm going to think thoughts of respect and not take it personally; as a result, I just get to feel love about his amazing little family. I can think he has good reason as to why he's choosing not to join us for dinner rather than he ought to want to be with his family.
With all that's going on in the world today, there is so much talk about reforming all our social systems. I keep asking, where does it start to make this happen.
I believe it starts with our mindsets but nobody has control over other people's minds. I keep coming back to the Savior and what he has taught us to do.....just love each other.....but I never hear this suggestion in any of the remedies suggested.
What would happen if we choose, today, to love someone we had never thought of loving before. Love is a feeling; our feelings cause us to act a certain way. What kind of change could we bring about in the world? The possibilities start to snowball.
We can win every time if we choose love because
LOVE ALWAYS WINS.
IF THIS RESONATES WITH YOU, OR IF YOU ARE TIRED OF BEING IN A PAINFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR ADULT CHILDREN, I CAN HELP YOU. EMAIL ME TO SCHEDULE A FREE 50 MINUTE CONSULT.