Saturday, December 25, 2010

Comfort Ye

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Freuliche Weinachten, Wesolych Swiat, Felice Navidad....On this day of celebration of the miracle of birth, I would like to extend my heartfelt wishes for comfort and peace to all birth mothers, who may grieve the loss of their children to adoption more intensely on this day. Children who have lost their first mothers may not have the words to express their grief, but to them, including to my own, also I say, yes, I see that it hurts, and wish comfort for them. And though I know there is no comparing losses of actual vs. potential children, I extend wishes for comfort today also to those whose children could never be born, and to anyone who today is separated from a loved one.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Old Self-Love Thing

Sometimes I just hate when people say, "you have to love yourself before you can love others." People often say this by way of offering comfort in the midst of relationship difficulties, but it makes me feel like I'm standing by myself on the top of a windy mountain with a big accusing finger pointing at me. The direction to "love yourself" usually is not comforting at all. Certainly it's not something that one can just go out and get, bring home, take out of the box and have it start working nicely.

And yet, there are times when perhaps a hint of this truth becomes visible, accessible. For example, if we look closely enough at our desires to love others and be loved by them, we realize that even in the most requited of loves, the symmetry is never exactly perfect. I think we assume that it is, and, actually, I think that's ok because I think that what we assume often actually can come to be. I think maybe we depend to some degree on each others' assumptions to bring the symmetry closer to "perfection."

Which means, instead of looking and looking for evidence of the love we want from the other person, might not it be possible, to some degree, to just assume that it's there? And the thing that lets us assume, that could be self-love. Maybe.