We get a deep sense of disappointment and puzzlement from you, when you ask us where our future spouses are or when you will meet them, and we give you rude replies or blank stares. We can understand your frustration; you did not give birth to, and raise children that would stop short the seed spreading process.
It is more than this – the name and legacy spreading deed, the hard work, sacrifices and imparted wisdom…the list goes on. In some ways, we fail you when we do not bring home a (let alone the) future spouse, or in some cases, present one too many options that are appalling in frequency and taste.
Our rude replies, blank stares and/or indifferent gestures perhaps show you that we are not overly concerned by this matter, that perhaps we are happy being who we are, some form of roaming free willed people pressing on to material gain, involved in immaterial relationships. Well… on behalf of your baffling children, this is for you and us. From today, let us begin anew.
Your actions, not your words taught us.
You taught us what you knew from your parents. We watched your relationships over the years, and our perceptions of relationships and their constitution, either changed or cemented, as we grew older. We learned what to do, say, what not to do and/or not say.
This may have been a good or a bad thing. We applied what we saw as we journeyed along, and together with the experiences we observed growing up, joined them with our lived experiences to form our realities. Most of these relationships were based on the direct opposite tenets of love as explained in First Corinthians.
In our relationships, love was not the powerful tool used to build others and us up, it was what we used to bring down. We used it to meet, keep, induce, cut, and hold hostage, excuse, and abuse among others.
We all thought we were in love; however, inconsistencies in our relationships as to this truth, ensured that they did not last, and/or finish off to our expectations. Very few of us could honestly talk to you about these relationships, let alone our friends.
Before love, you taught us strength. In the times our relationships were failing and failed, we turned to the one thing you taught above all else, this being an unbreakable front. We used strength to bull doze our feelings and emotions into something that worked for us.
This was better than letting love paralyze us with skull and heart numbing pain and confusion. Neatly sealed and packaged, or at least out of visitor sight, we marched on to the next relationship, or simply scurried around said topic with mounting fear of commitment, relying on the excuses work and fun provided us.
By doing the best that you could, dear parents, you taught some us to be unusually submissive, to stay, and aid in abusive relationships, to cheat on our spouses, to father multiple children, to favour siblings, and not know the family finances.
By doing the best that you could, some of us became bullies, frigid, unforgiving, merciless, and punishing. You taught some of us to bribe, manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal from our spouses.Some received the message that love was a pipe dream, and that it was okay to settle, that fairy tales belonged to fairies in tales, that being strong above all else, was what sustained a relationship.
Some learned that what we saw was what we got, and most importantly, that we may not have been worth a lot. For some of us dear parents, our rude replies, blank stares and indifferent gestures, are the direct product of the contradiction between what you showed us, and our not wanting it. In our effort to find partners that would fill the void in, and/or enhance our lives, we found disconnects with the people that we attracted.
Not that they lacked good and positive elements in them, but that we couldn’t seem to get it right. It did not matter what we said and did, there was something about them and us that just did not jive. We finally turned to our Strength to carry us through the problematic relationship, for our hearts were in jeopardy, and so we turned to those wonderfully cultivated vices in us to support our ego and sense of respect in what was a losing battle in love.
The requirements of First Corinthians was not an option, it was too much to ask of us to repay bitterness with kindness, deceit with loyalty. We each built walls, and spent the rest of the time together building more walls and fairy tales to sustain us.
We began to practice what we observed growing up, un/known to us, and not intimately understood, we began to believe in the qualities we observed in your relationships with each other.
We began to actively seek this life and sustain it, with the vices created and sustained throughout childhood, and the ever-enduring strength and resilience that you so carefully cultivated in us. From today, let us begin anew.
We have no one to blame. The past is the past. We can only live for the present, and plan for the future. We understand that you did what you knew best and no longer hold you hostage for your actions and decisions. We can make our own decisions and decide on our actions from this day forward.
What we can learn is this: Love is the strongest emotion of them all.
More so than any other emotion such as anger, love repairs, builds, sustains, inspires, motivates, cultivates, energizes, carries, and breaks wall, and its continued application is the motivating factor to its increased strength.
From the basic description of love, we have the roadmap to decipher whether love does in fact exist in our relationships, and how to respond to it in all situations. 1 Cor 13:4-8, NIV: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. We now know that we need to unlearn negative traits in ourselves about how we perceive, conduct, and receive love.
That spouse that you have waited for dear parents, has also been dearly awaited by us! Like you, we’ve been waiting for the spouse that fulfills all our expectations and accepts our flaws with little to no compromise. What we are willing to compromise on, are in fact more restrictions based on the walls we have built over time to prevent our hearts from being further broken.
To unlearn this, we are going back to the basic description of love, admitting that it is far more courageous, and takes far more strength to believe in, let alone follow the innate concept of love.What we do know, is that to love ourselves, in all our ways, discover ourselves, our flaws and strengths, is the first step, to bringing that spouse home to you.
To forgive ourselves, for mistakes made, for hurts accomplished, for experiences gone wrong, to accept and close chapters on old books, to pick up new slates, to start anew, will help us bring that spouse home to you.
To learn to look at ourselves with fresh eyes, to let go of expectations that not even we can fulfill, forget the teenage sweetheart loves whose memories have been diluted, adjusted and compounded over time, let go of relationships held fast with loose wires, will help us bring that spouse home to you.
We are learning that what worked for you will not work for us, for we are not you. We now know that we can’t look at the opposite sex and smite them for not being the people we want to bring home to you. We know that our treatment of each other over the years did not help the characters we built.
We know that we have certain people we are looking for, yet mess around with the others of whom we think very little.We know that these people seem to be more in number than the ones we are looking for, so in the meantime, we keep reducing every one else’s, including our own, self-worth, by continuing to use each other as vices while we loudly boast of the virtuous people we await for.
We know that we killed the virtues of people as much as they killed ours’ along the way, while we lie to ourselves that we have good in us that is waiting to come out, once we meet the right people.
We know that this must stop and that we must learn to love as God teaches in His Word. Love is not born of ego. We now know that in treating ourselves and each other well, we let others and us know that we are worthy of good things, good people and experiences, and that we can finally and proudly bring someone good home, for us, not for you, and for all.
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