my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Sunday, August 25, 2013

the four letter word i hope my kids get caught saying

ok, so i have often been teased for being over sensitive ... not just as a mother, but as a person, throughout my whole entire life.  it has become synonymous with my name, almost to the point where, you know how when people introduce each other, they often follow with a title, such as, "this is bob, he's an orthodontist" or "this is suzy, she's a photographer," etc. ... well when someone introduces me i almost expect them to say, "this is jacqueline, she's over sensitive ..." 

so four letter words in my house include not only the classic ones that rhyme with bit and duck and clam ... my children have also not been allowed to use the words "hate" "bored" "shut up" "idiot" (i know ... those are more than four letters) ... these are examples of the tone or energy that i allow and don't allow.  yes, i am that mom.  in fact, when they were younger and we were in the car, typically in traffic, they would call their father out with shock and dismay, expecting restitution, because he "used the H word" ... and he would just sit there baffled and in denial until we figured out that the H word he used was "hate."  trust me, he still sat there baffled ...

so yesterday my 9 year old and i were spending the afternoon together, playing tourists in a small historic town, when we found the gem of an upcycled art and love shop called "when pigs fly."

after indulging myself in all the goodness and life giving energy in this place, i decided that the one thing i couldn't leave without was a set of four letters.  a four letter word that i somehow needed to take with me.

L.  O.  V.  and E.

i have been immersed in the experience of arranging these letters in several different places today, trying to find the right spot, looking at them from different angles, in different surroundings, in different light ...  feeling what "fits" with me and what doesn't.  what resonates and makes me say "ahhhh ..."

in between this interesting ... wordplay (cheesy pun intended,)  i had a conversation with a loved one about how love and relationships mean different things to different people.  the conversation in many ways mirrored the experience i was having, it was much about looking at "LOVE" from different perspectives.  how awesome!

love does mean different things to different people.
all kinds of words or concepts mean different things to different people.
and rightly so, because other people are not us and we are not them.  they have not lived our life and we have not lived theirs.  they have different experiences, needs, wants, ideas, expectations, dreams, beliefs, and have grown up differently and walked a different path.

the word LOVE can incite so many different emotions and thoughts, some positive, some neutral, some even very negative. it can mean one thing to one person or it can mean many things to one person.  
all by itself.  
4 little letters.  
one word that can mean so many things. 

i am one who, when i think of love, it means a myriad of other things to me.  and each of those things ... in themselves they might mean something entirely different to you.

"We don't see things as they are ... We see things as we are."  -Anaïs Nin

so i wonder.  

what does it mean to you?
when i see this word, i also see:

i am really interested in learning, what do you see?

i feel like this is an important thing to consider and remember when we are interacting and living with other people throughout our life, particularly in significant primary relationships.

if one person believes that love means always-and-forever-no-matter-what ... that they can treat someone in any way, behave any way even if it is negative and harmful, and basically not honor their partner, (after all, what does honor mean to that person?) they might truly believe that it is okay.   because love means it will be okay and that partner will still love them and be with them no matter what.  however, if the partner believes that love means respect - both for others and for one's self, and those behaviors are not respecting him or herself, they will not feel loved, and there is a good possibility that they will not stay in that situation.   

this does not make either person right or wrong.  they just have different ideas of what love is.  i am not sure that this is something we are ever taught when we are growing up and trying to navigate our path and include loving relationships along the way.

what are your thoughts?

i am fascinated with the different ways that we, as a whole, can see the same thing. 

much like, i don't know, blueberry pie?  someone sees it as tart.  someone sees it as sweet.  someone sees it as comfort.  someone sees it as puke.  someone sees it as dessert.  someone sees it as punishment.    it is still just a blueberry pie.  we each have our own experience of it.

i would love to know how you feel about this.
the whole concept ... not the blueberry pie.
although you can tell me that too!  :D

in raising my children, i have made it a point to eradicate perspectives that foster thought processes involving words like "hate" "stupid" "shut up" "idiot" and other similar attitudes.  i care less about the "classic" four letter words that i know my kids have heard by now through outside sources, and they even know what half of those words mean ...  i know these words will not become part of their language in life. 

i hope with all my heart, that the four letter word that DOES become part of their life language, that they do get caught saying, often, whether out loud or silently, is LOVE.  

whatever that means to them.  

"For the two of us, home isn't a place.  It is a person.  And we are finally home." -Stephanie Perkins