I was given this wisdom when my son was younger: “Children do not feel anger the same as adults. Their anger is like the branches of a tree. It is what you see, but if you go all the way down to the roots there you will find sadness.” These words have never left me. When someone is ignoring me or yelling at me or gossiping about me — I can’t say that I don’t usually at first get upset. Eventually, when I am calmer I am able to see the sadness in this person. So while I agree with this wisdom about children — I also believe it is true about adults.
If a man hits his wife — throwing him in jail will not make him less violent.
If a kid keeps getting in trouble in school — giving them 5 days out-of-school suspension to stay home and play video games is not going to make them behave any better.
If a company makes a billion dollars by exploiting consumers with false advertising — fining them a million dollars isn’t going to do anything.
If you want your child’s love — writing their term paper or buying them a new car or letting them do as they will isn’t going to get you love.
If you want a man to love you — picking out the right dress or changing your hairstyle or taking up his hobbies — isn’t going to get you love.
Each of these there will be change if we get to the root of the problem.
So what will manifest love in our lives?
We need to put down roots — our own roots first — before we try to branch out and find love with someone else. So the question is what kind of soil have you planted your roots of love? Are they on barren rocks or deep loamy soil? (Puns intended).
The first day of school I told my students I would give them a 100 if they could go get “it”. They all looked at each other and around the room and back at me. Finally one would be brave and ask, “What is “it”? “Exactly,” I would say, “nobody knows what “it” is so don’t use that word in my room.”
If we don’t know what “love” is how can we get “it”? If you’ve watched enough commercials lately the advertisers will tell you if you want love: buy this chocolate, go to dinner here, or of course buy a diamond — that never fails to MAKE someone fall in love with you. In our tree analogy, I would propose these are our branches. They are not our roots. The person giving them may love you deeply or not at all.
If you don’t know what love is yourself how can you possibly recognize it in someone else? Are you thinking that if you’re pretty enough or thin enough or funny enough all of those exterior things are going to bring about love? How can they when love isn’t a thing. We can’t buy it in a bottle or make it in a laboratory.
When I first realized I was so disabled with MCS that I couldn’t even go to the movies — I wondered how would I date? Who would want me? I can’t do anything. How would I meet new people? Right after that I had dreams: a man’s car breaking down in front of my house, the delivery guy bringing a package to my house by mistake, someone stopping to ask directions… There is much to learn from this: there are no limits as to how love can be delivered and no disability that can keep it away. And as I wrote about yesterday — love came to me via a young man cleaning out my driveway — my 80 year-old dad buying me groceries — and my female friend stopped over with leftovers. I think to often I get stuck that love should come to me like a dating site profile. And only from one-particular-willing-to-walk-down-the-aisle-with-me love. I should know better than to assume marriage automatically equates to love — I am divorced after all.
In fact, I have felt more love from my fellow bloggers whom I have never had the privilege to meet face-to-face than I have many people I called family and friends.
Today’s Intention: Make sure that love flows from my roots all the way up to my branches so that what you see is what you get: LOVE.