May 1, 2010

EAT(when), PRAY (where), and LOVE (how)?

Elizabeth Gilbert had some advantages I did not have.
(And still do not.)
 She traveled alone to foreign countries to learn her lessons.

I stayed home with a houseful of children.
Living with seven people in a house that wasn't even 950 square feet posed a problem
with even the basic of basics.
At least for me.

As I thought about these three 'simple' everyday occurrences, I became aware of how I had let others dictate my life.  I became cognizant of the fact that for the most part, it was not even my life at all.

The harsh truth though, was that I had given it away.
All in the name of love of course.

If I had started writing this blog 'back in the day' (yeah right-when?) I would not have been writing about the need to lose weight.
Eating a warm meal with all those children to manage was non-existent.
'Eating a meal' was just a phrase.
It meant whatever was left on 'their' plate.
Eating 'real food' was a luxury.
Perhaps this contributed to my sugar-addiction-diet.
(Like genealogy, you can always trace back and blame your problems on something or someone.)

Eat, when???! became my motto.
I made excuses for depriving myself or sometimes did not even think about it at all.
It just was.
By the end of the day I might realize I had not eaten anything of real sustenance.
It did not matter.
I was too tired to care.
"Oh well, I can always eat tomorrow," is what I told myself.
(That no longer happens.)
(Or I wouldn't be blogging about my weight! Now would I?)


Prayer is spiritual food.
If I did not find time to get physically fed, how and where could I go to get spiritually fed?
And where was I going to find a quiet place to pray?
I know that a prayer can be offered any place and at any time but some prayers need privacy.

The words I needed to speak were not things that could, or even would have been appropriate to voice when I was in the check-out line at the grocery store.
Besides, I was busy telling my children to stop touching everything next to the counter and explaining why Madonna was wearing what she wasn't.
My simple prayer at the time may have been, "Please do not let the cottage cheese munchkins find me in my bikini like they found (fill in the blank) on the front cover of the Enquirer."

As vital as prayer was to my ability (sane, rational ability) to be an effective mother I could not find a place where I could express the fears and burdens that were placed upon my shoulders.

Looking back I probably did not want to.
I may have purposely been avoiding it.
(That was before I could afford Denial.)

I may have known that I would be opening up a swollen heart that would have bled with disappointment and pain uncontrollably.
I may have bled to death.

My heart and fears would eventually catch up to me.
It would only be a matter of time.
I could not outrun myself.
Life has a way of catching us.
I did not end up having the endurance that God has in my life.
He always shows up at the finish line.
I have since made up for all the prayers (or most of them) that I never found a place to express at that time.
I am just sorry  that it took hindsight to see and now know that making a place to pray would have benefited all of us.
Ten fold.


Love.  Aah, love.
It should be one of those natural emotions right?
I would have defended that point back in high school.
(Especially if it would have gotten me out of class.)
But I have since changed my tune.

Well, let me back track.
I do believe we can sense love and feel it in our spirit when we genuinely experience it,
But I do not think that showing it comes naturally to all of us.
At least it hasn't for me.
That realization has brought some tremendously somber days.
Love has to be learned.
I have to learn.
If I have not seen love expressed, or only saw it in a way that went under the guise of 'love' but wasn't , it is hard to know what love really looks and feels like.

This is the one area I am still actively working on.
(Not that my diet and prayers are superb but I at least know what to do now.)

It is a very hard thing for me to admit.
This void in my life.
I am a loving person.
But I came to know that feeling love and showing love are not the same thing.

I mean, I did the best I knew how.
I thought love meant sacrifice so I became a masochist.
I thought it meant protecting others from harm so I controlled all that I could (or couldn't.)
Often smothering those around me.
I thought it meant putting others first, so I just deleted myself off the list.

I have so much love in my heart.
But sometimes, especially with those closest to me, it gets stuck in there.
I am now working on ways to make a doorway for it to come out.
There are brick walls two or three layers deep in some places.
That is a lot of demolition.
And then remodeling.

I do believe if I died that my children would say that they knew I loved them, but I don't want to wait until then.
I want them to experience it now, while I am here.
Not in retrospect.

It is frustrating and can be discouraging to not be able to share the strongest emotion I feel with those who are the dearest to me.
I am learning though.
I like that.
I like that even though perhaps half of my life has passed, I can still learn and grow.
I just feel a little old at times to still be having growing pains!
I look forward to the day and can not wait for the time when all that I feel in my heart will be represented and manifested in my outward expressions of love!

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."~ John 13:34

1 comment:

  1. I have heard you express love when you have seen a child that is hurting....just with a little sigh and "awwwww." I have seen you express love when the pain is apparent on your face when you talk about how you had to let one of your children suffer - so that he could learn an important life lesson. I have felt you express love when you stumbled over a simple "thank you" for the smallest of favors. People know you love them. And they certainly love you, too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...