While I have read for years the importance of loving oneself, it is a talent that escapes me. I am empathetic to the need for love and affection for others, but I have seldom directed it at myself. I look at myself with a very critical eye, one that I would not use for others. Why, then, do I seem to need to put the magnifying glass to my life and myself and deep it unworthy? That is a question that most of us can ask ourselves during some times in our lives.
I believe the answer lies in whether or not we are judgemental. I was raised in a home where perfection was expected and I was judged worthy by whether or not I lived up to the expectations of my parents, specifically my mother. She was a good woman, a patient teacher, and a good mother to the extent her observations about her children allowed her to be. She wanted children who would not be seen in any kind of negative light.
I popped out my own person. No one told me that I was to be meek, quiet, and well-behaved. I was loud, demanding, and had a mind of my own. Needless to say, over the ensuing years, my mother and i came to blows often. I was mouthy but avoided that step into disrespect. I would argue knowing that I would not win against either of my parents. They were in charge, not me. That did not stop me. My father once told me I should have been a lawyer the way I liked to argue.
But, I digress. I was judged as being good, when I was causing no problems. I was judged to be less than worthy if I was not going with the prescribed program of the day in my household. I was learning that love itself was not enough. I had to be worthy of that love.
That was the way of loving in the 1950s. No one cared about the psyche of the child. You were there to obey your parents without question for after all, they loved you. I look back at the kind of love I received the look to the kind of love I gave my children.
I allowed them to choose what clothes they wore, for the most part. I hugged them. I allowed them to be free enough to choose things like what we would have for meals and their haircuts. I questioned some of their choices of friends, but I knew the more I put the reins to friendships, that could open up other issues, so I would simply keep an eye out for any behaviors that might indicate problems. Unfortunately, that did not always work, but they are now full grown adults with children of their own, so I guess that was okay in the long run.
I took a chance on love. I took a chance that my kind of love would be enough to set an example for them without creating the kind of friction I grew up with. I took a chance that I was raising kind, respectful, independent children who would not have to work so hard at acceptance and love from me. I think I made mistakes but overall, I am proud of both of my children. I took a chance on love and it is still paying returns. When in doubt, take a chance on love. Now, I need to take that chance on love one more step and take a chance on loving myself. After all, I am worthy of that love too.
Something To Ponder