Tag Archives: love

Only Mortal

Only Mortal POST

”Lord what fools these mortals be”

William Shakespeare

It’s a strange feeling is facing ones own mortality!

Not unsurprisingly when it finally dawns on us that we’re only human and therefore by definition mortal it has the knack of polarising your thoughts in ways which unless we’ve  experienced it we would in all honesty struggle to fully understand and…..

If we’re unlucky we never will!!

Unlucky because unless we have just cause to question the way we live our lives. Our lifestyle choices. Our relationships. The state of our health….in fact anything that makes up the tapestry that is life! Then we may never know or even care that there could be a healthier, happier and more fulfilling alternative just a heartbeat away.

Whilst they say ignorance is bliss and hindsight a wonderful thing, the massive shame is that there are those who succumb without warning to the eventual fate shared by us all. Often on doing so they leave behind not only grieving loved ones but things left unsaid and undone which in all truthfulness could probably have made their life and those of their loved ones so very different to that which they had shared.

It’s sad but true that many of us don’t do or say the things that we should anywhere near often enough to validate ourselves or those we love because we always think that we have time or the other person knows that ??? and so on.

In fact the only guarantee of time we have is this one moment, the one we are experiencing now, anything after this is both a bonus and a blessing.

With the dual advantages of both hindsight AND experience I urge you to make sure that when you reach your final destination you do so secure in the knowledge that once the tears have subsided you leave behind memories  which are both comforting and can be cherished by those whom you loved and who loved you in return. Don’t leave anything to chance because by doing so you run the risk of leaving room for both regret and recrimination long after you’re gone.

That would be a shame, unnecessary and very definitely a waste of at least one life. DON’T let it be yours! That said;

If we’re lucky most of us will get to experience the situation just the once in our life, as for ME?

I’m just plain greedy!

Over time I’ve had several flirtations with the Grim Reaper and having survived thus far consider myself to be very definitely the latter of the two and in being so have had the CHANCE to right wrongs, validate those I love, do the things i really want to do…thereby changing the end game!

What do I mean by this?

Well, if experience has taught me anything it’s that we all of us (in part at least) can be deemed guilty of taking life for granted. However experience has caused me to take stock of my life…its past, its present and the very real possibility of it having no future on more than one occasion and has meant that I’ve been incredibly lucky on numerous levels.

I use the word lucky in the very real sense of the word and in no way mean it to be a flippant comment.

Think about it

How many of us plod along on a daily basis in a state of limited existence as opposed to grabbing life firmly by the collar and experiencing every single moment fully, as it happens, in the now?? I would hazard a guess at it being most of us and to be perfectly honest I used to be one of them.

It was only when I had cause to look back that I came to realise how much of my life up to that point had been a waste of time. Time that not only I would never get back BUT may not have much of left to come. Time in which I wouldn’t be able to either put right or redress the balance going forward in terms of making amends both to myself and others.

So yes I considered ( and still do) myself to be lucky

Lucky in that I had a second chance to reflect on my history and resolve issues appropriately. It meant that because of this and subsequent chances at life I had the motivation and determination  to be the change that was needed to better it on so many levels. I promised myself that no matter what it took to achieve it, then I would do it.

I was lucky to survive AND lucky to be able to learn, grow and move on positively from a past which had not only weighed me down for far too long but had been a contributing factor in the decline of my overall physical and mental health.

It’s been a long, hard battle getting this far and I still consider myself to be a work in progress…there isn’t a day goes by EVER that I don’t give thanks for the fact that I’m still here.  Thanks for being mindful our time here is finite and not for wasting. Thanks for the opportunities I get to tell those who matter to me I’m proud of them and how much I love them.

In all honesty the process of becoming ill, nearly dying, surviving and then recovering is a traumatic, painful process  BUT the journey that I’ve had up to this point (despite everything) and the lessons I had cause to learn because of it have made me the person I am today.

Someone who is healthier, happier and certainly more mentally whole than I have EVER been.

Someone who is SECURE in the certainty that when the time comes to defer to my fate I will do so knowing that I have left nothing undone, and nothing unsaid. There will be no cause for regret or recrimination by or because of me and my loved ones will KNOW without doubt that my love for them was and will ALWAYS be true and UNCONDITIONAL.

At that point I shall consider my life a job well done and rest easy because if it were possible to do all over again I would do so in a metaphorical heartbeat!

My wish for you going forward is that you would feel the same way

 

 

Love Without Limits

Love Without Limits POST

’Unconditional love is our birth right, not judgement or condemnation and there’s nothing we need to do to earn it’’ Anita Moorjani

Why on earth would anyone presume otherwise?

The giving and receiving of LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY is, or at least SHOULD indeed be our birth right. The act of loving someone is the most natural of gifts one can give to another freely and without the confines of limitation.

RIGHT?

Husband to wife. Mother to son. Sister to brother. Grandmother to grandchildren. Friend to friend. The list is and SHOULD be endless for the capacity to love and be loved is an integral part of the human psyche and is actually what differentiates us from ALL other living, breathing species on the planet.

It matters not WHO or HOW we LOVE but only that we DO!

As a species when it comes to LOVE we stand alone, isolated from the millions of other living, breathing species with whom we cohabit in this world of ours and we can easily see that the concept of LOVE as we know it is an enigma to them. Whilst there are indeed many monogamous species amongst them and indeed some of whom who do display affection to each other, the reason and THE ONLY REASON that they come together ultimately is to ensure procreation to facilitate survival of the species. The females become fertile, they mate/are mated by the male in a manner so clinical and matter of fact it is actually astonishing. They know instinctively that if copulation doesn’t take place regularly and successfully then in a relatively short space of time whole species will become extinct. For them the physical act is EXACTLY that, a means to an end. LOVE as we know it isn’t even a consideration let alone one which could in principal be used to manipulate another by way of emotional blackmail. Their lives as a result (their own natural limitations not withstanding) are so very much simpler. They eat, sleep, breed and………

REPEAT!

In comparison then consider us, the HUMAN RACE for a second; the act of loving another as far as we are concerned is for the most part a mutual exchange of respect, emotion and tenderness regardless of the dynamics of a relationship. In the human world LOVE manifests itself by way of hugging, kissing, holding hands and so on. The intent to procreate occurs as a natural progression of this between consenting adults who wish to take the ultimate step and bring children into the world should they want and/or are able to. Even when unable to conceive naturally, such is the way of the world these days that there are alternative options a loving and committed couple can pursue to realise the desired creation of a family unit as the ultimate expression of their love.

Natural. Simple. Beautiful except……………………………………………

Given that this gift of LOVE is a natural phenomenon, if we begin to explore it further we can see that as with many states of our human emotions it is multifaceted and as such could be construed as either;

Strong affection arising from kinship or inter- personal ties (maternal love for a child), attraction based on sexual desire, affection and tenderness as felt by lovers or affection based on strong attraction or personal attachment between friends.

The very fact that the definition of the word LOVE alone can be so varied means it almost inevitably invites multitudinal interpretations from us which when coupled with accompanying feelings such as pride, lust, jealousy and fear to name but a few, can and indeed does bring into play the element of ‘’control’’ and this is where the Natural. Simple. Beautiful concept of LOVE becomes complex at best, disastrous at worst.

For those of us who may have been deemed ‘’unworthy’’…… (for whatever reason) to be afforded a LOVE without condition or limits, one which can and should naturally be so freely given…………….it very often takes years, if ever, before we even come to question the absolute fact that this gift should be ours to hold dear, free from restraint or condition from the moment we are born.

Indeed the gradual realisation that LOVE (of any type) should by default be ABSOLUTELY UNCONDITIONAL often comes as a major surprise when suddenly we understand that we have, without question ‘’happily’’ accepted the exact opposite to be true !!

That is to say we have totally misunderstood that LOVE in its most natural of states should always be given freely without the requirement of anything in return, without condition or limit. A love which NEVER CHANGES regardless of circumstance. For instance EVEN a mothers love for a child who goes on to commit heinous crimes should/would mean that although in all probability she despises their actions, is embarrassed, feels betrayed even, her love would remain steadfastly unchanged for it is completely NORMAL to LOVE someone whilst at the same time being unable to actually bring ourselves to like either them or their actions, often both at the same time.

It is at this pivotal moment that we perhaps for the first time ever, come to visit then the concept of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

Unfortunately as with all things emotional, life when it comes to the ‘’art’’ of LOVING UNCONDITIONALLY is rarely simple. When we first come to explore the hitherto unconsidered concept it quite naturally gives rise to previously unasked let alone unanswered questions and for me at least these were simply;

• Where did the complication of CONDITIONS BEGIN?
• Why do people EVER feel the NEED to RESTRICT the act of loving?

So where does the complication of condition come into play when we decide not only who or why we love someone but how?

Speaking as both a child and a parent I think I can honestly say two things which I could be secure in proclaiming as fact

It first rears its head in childhood
• It is very much a learned behavioural pattern

Upon exploring these same questions and answers it became apparent to me that even more importantly to us as individuals is the question;

If the affliction of attaching conditions to the gift of love BEGINS IN CHILDHOOD did I learn the behaviour at the hands of my parents?

OR

Was my behaviour the root cause of why my parent/s felt the need to impose condition or limit on an emotion so freely given to and by countless others?

Either way the end result is usually a person who almost regardless of reason grows up feeling insecure, unworthy, unloved and almost always ‘’not good enough’’.

Over the years……..and without wanting to sound dramatic, there were many of them……………I think I can say in all honesty it was actually the realisation that these questions not only existed and were pertinent to my individual circumstances BUT the fact that I had neither the answers NOR the tools with which to work them out that caused me more angst than either the preceding years or the psychological trauma I came to endure amongst other things as a result. For a long while I would berate myself for not; being able to ‘’lay it to rest’’, being able to ‘’understand’’, being able to ‘’move on’’ etc and in doing so perpetuated the falsely entrenched myth in my mind that ‘’ I wasn’t good enough, clever enough, brave enough, nice enough’’ and EVEN WORSE that ‘’I DIDN’T DESERVE to be’’!!!

It does not do at all to dwell on the past and the mistakes made by our parents or carers as they brought us up. They are in all honesty best left where they are – IN THE PAST. A past which has no power over us other than that we choose to give it. I can often be heard to say ‘’There are no mistakes, only lessons to be learned’’ and whilst the mistakes in our past may well have been the cause of many of our ‘’issues’’ as we grew into adulthood, they were those of our parents and over which we had no control. However if we choose not to LEARN for ourselves the lessons our parents didn’t we will for sure make those exact same mistakes again and so t would go on.

As time elapsed and I ‘’matured’’ becoming a parent in my own right along the way, the process of ‘’realisation’’ continued to unfold before me very ably abetted by both the benefits of hindsight and experience of being a child from a situation which left her with a massive inferiority complex and the ‘’on the job training’’ which comes with the scary territory of becoming a first time parent desperate to break the cycle of negative conditioning.

Although I knew absolutely zero about the practicalities of raising a child let alone successfully, I knew one thing for sure and without question;

Our child and any subsequent ones:

WOULD GROW UP SECURE IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT NO MATTER WHAT, HE/THEY WOULD NEVER. EVER EXPERIENCE A LOVE WHICH WAS ANYTHING LESS THAN UNCONDITIONAL!

In short I came to understand that the gift that is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE is truly the MOST IMPORTANT gift we will EVER bestow upon our children.

It is OUR RESPONSIBILITY as parents to lay the foundations which will allow our sons and daughters to thrive and grow SECURE IN THE KNOWLEDGE that; they ARE worthy, they ARE beautiful, they ARE clever, they ARE able, they CAN achieve whatever they want to achieve, they CAN be who they want to be, they CAN do what they want to do with THEIR lives.

Their journey is not ours to live, it is not ours to control, it is not ours to restrict in any way, shape or form. It is not ours to project our own experiences and misfortunes onto thus allowing history to repeat itself. In allowing ourselves to forgive our past, we can live in our present whilst all the time looking forward to creating a future for ourselves and our children which is full of Hope, Happiness and leaving us and them secure in the certain knowledge that the love which is both given and received is ABUNDANT and FREELY available without condition always.

It is our RESPONSIBILITY to ensure the negative cycles of the past are broken and replaced with positive guidance should we be asked/needed to, it is our RESPONSIBILITY to nurture, it is our RESPONSIBILITY to enhance positively their self image and increase their measure of their own self worth, it is our RESPONSIBILITY to help them access the life skills and coping strategies which will enable them to move forward as they reach adulthood in their own right as balanced, well-adjusted, confident individuals who can and do know from the outset that they are:

AN AMAZING HUMAN BEING!

With thanks to American singer/songwriter George Benson;

“Greatest Love Of All”

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody is searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on meI decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of allI believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to beAnd if by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

WE OWE IT TO OURSELVES – WE OWE TO OUR CHILDREN!