Episode 95: Ways to Love Others When Our Love Feels Rejected
I'm Bonnie Lyman and you're listening to the podcast Loving on Purpose, Episode 95, Ways to Love Others When Our Love Feels Rejected. Welcome to the podcast, Loving on Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place.
Hello, my friends. I'm glad to be meeting with you. On another week in the year 2023, we'll see what kind of winter we're going to have in my neck of the woods as I woke up to snow this morning. But I like the snow, so it's all good. But I hope you're having a good week. I hope you're finding ways to implement some of the things I've been teaching you.
In feeling better in your relationships with your adult children through having more understanding and compassion toward them. We're going to talk about today, about those times when we feel like we're giving, giving, giving our love, and we just feel like it's being rejected. But this may show up in the form of our adult children ignoring us, um, perhaps they're not responding.
to our texts or our phone calls, and we got to be real careful with those texts and emails of what kind of intonation we add to it when we read it from them. They could be, when they do respond, very kind. And yet we can put a negative spin on it and put a whole different meaning to it. Uh, we may not feel loved when they don't include us.
Uh, that may be in the form of in inviting us over, including us in, um, I heard once of a spouse drawing.
a surprise birthday party for this particular mother's son, and, uh, neither parents were invited. They were not feeling included. Maybe they're not acknowledging their gifts or packages that you have sent to them. Uh, maybe We are not being informed of events of our grandchildren, maybe sporting events or um, events, musical events, performances, whatever at school that we would really like to be going to and they aren't including us.
So we tend to go to making it mean. We think they don't love us, but we do not know this for sure. We don't know why they haven't included us. We don't know if, um, perhaps it's they feel they're pressuring us, they're putting guilt on us when they let us know that they want us to come. Maybe they don't want us there.
We don't know, but when we are not feeling love from them, that doesn't mean that they don't love us, and that doesn't mean that we can't love them back when we are dependent on them giving us feedback of showing love toward us you In order for us to love them, then we have fallen into the trap of conditionally loving our children, and so we're robbing ourselves of how wonderful we It loves, uh, it feels to love another person, to love our children.
And of all the people out there, I want to love my kids. And it's my responsible, responsibility to love them just the way, uh, um, they are. I don't think we fully understand. What a different lifestyle is placed in front of our kids that they are living with in this day and age. I never had to worry that my kids were going to go to school and that maybe somebody was going to come in shooting and that one of my kids would be killed that day.
I find My children don't obsess over this about their children, my grandchildren, but it is something we never had to think about. There's just so many different challenges in their life. I... I haven't even sat down and tried to figure out and maybe that'd be a good thing to do a podcast on to inform my listener of what challenges these kids are facing today.
So the one thing we need to do is that when they don't give us feedback is don't resist it. Just take it for what it is that they didn't acknowledge you giving them a gift. They didn't respond to a text. That they, um, didn't... Um, you know, invite you to something that your grandchildren were involved in.
And there, there are some ways, you know, that, that we can help them. One thing being, we need to have the self confidence to ask them. I mean, just come right and ask, ask them. I sent you a package in the mail. Was it received a lot of times I would hesitate because I felt like I was putting guilt on them if I asked that but I just wanted to know if I should contact the post office or not to see if the package was lost or to remind them I have to remind my son all the time to give me a schedule to his um boys Like they're in basketball right now to give me a schedule to their basketball games.
He's got concerns on his mind and at the top of the list is not getting a schedule to his mother. So I, I have some ways that can help us keep from, um, Feeling bad when we feel like our love is being rejected, or maybe it would be better to say that it's not accepted, or that we are not giving back love in return.
So, first of all, like, I got out of sequence there, and I think I mentioned that we don't resist. Um, their behavior, it's, it's not always easy to do, but it is the better way just to accept resentment and anger and animosity, they never feel good. We're in this life. I get up every day and I want to feel good about my life and about my kids.
You, you may feel justified in being resentful or angry. But so what? You're not feeling good. It's not a good feeling to have toward your adult children. Remember, we're either loving them or judging them. Are we so stubborn that we would rather be right, that we deserve some of these things that we're.
There's some of this feedback, some of this inclusiveness, whatever that we're not getting from our kids. Would we rather be right in that justification that we deserve to get that for them? Or would we rather feel good? I just think we all want to feel good. And love is the one thing that always feels good.
So I'm going to spend my energy Trying how I can love them and not judgment. Judgment comes from not loving ourselves enough. When we love ourselves enough, we get committed to finding a way that we can get past the judgment and choose to love our adult children. So one thing I would suggest. Is write down as many different things that you can think of that shows love to that person.
And then start doing them. Sometimes we think if we just change our thoughts. But I think we need to get more into the action line here. And start doing things for them to make their life a little easier. To show them, to remind them that we love them. One thing we can do is write a letter in the mail and tell them all the things that you think that is great and wonderful about them.
Another thing is every once in a while just to send a short text. Maybe you want to get a card with a little note and just anonymously leave it on their doorstep. Another thing is allow them, give them some space from you. If they don't want to talk to you, or haven't contacted you, or haven't responded to a phone call and, hey, give me a call sometimes.
Let it go a couple weeks. Give them some space from you. They don't want to feel the burden that their, their mother needs them more than what they can do to fulfill their needs. I like to say, love them their way, not yours. And that may mean. They go someplace else for Thanksgiving dinner. And you know what our kids want more than anything from us?
They want us to be happy. If we're not happy, Why would they want to be around us? Be more accepting of their wants. When my son got married, he told me that coming to our house for dinner Once a week was a little too often. I was a little bit shattered. And I, I don't, I can't remember. It was 15 years ago, 10 years ago that he said that, but I can't remember if, um, I made it mean anything.
But I just accepted that that was just too often for them, and it came out, they didn't have enough family time, which was precious to them, and they were both working. That, that's how they wanted to spend their time. He didn't say it, but I know that it didn't mean they didn't love us. Whatever they're doing, don't make it mean anything about you.
Focus on what you admire about them. Focus on what you would love about them if they were just a neighbor. We take things way too personally when it comes to family and our expectations are so much higher. I heard someone say it was always easier to raise your neighbor kids than your own.
It's a natural tendency in all of us to focus on the negative in our children. It's a personal relationship, so we just have higher expectations and want more than we would from, as I mentioned earlier, our neighbor. We're much more tolerant and forgiving of things our neighbors do that we don't particularly like.
We really give it very little attention. Remember that your brain loves assignments, so give it the assignment of helping you to find ways to love your adult children when they're not giving you any feedback or they almost feel like they're rejecting your love. When we do this, when We are intentional about focusing on the things that we do like about our children.
Even looking for the smallest ways that they may be showing us, um, or giving us some feedback for the love that we give them. Or having Different thoughts, even if we have to intentionally come up with a thought and rethink it several times before it becomes a belief that the thought I like to think is that they love me, they just don't Show it in the way I think I would like them to be showing it to me that they do love me.
But deep down I feel that my kids love me. They just don't always show it. But giving that assignment to your brain, your brain will help you find evidence that they do love you. Remember Love just loves it. There isn't a book of instructions available for our children of how they're supposed to show their parents that they love them.
Every individual is different and does it in a different way. And I am just grateful that I was able to have these children in my life. I hope you have a great week, and I look forward to talking to you next week.
If you liked this, this episode, and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about, or Where to start on, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship.
Get on a call with me and we can have a discussion. And I can tell you how to apply it and where we start. And then you get to decide what you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There's no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children.
Let's assume the best. Let's assume that we all love each other and we're just trying to figure out how to maintain our own boundaries and respect another one's. But I can help you with everything. So just go to BonnieLyman. com and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you.