Blog #88 Giving to the One(s) You Love

Posted on : 17-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized



David and I just negated each other’s thumbs about the movie, “Please GIve” (I had one up, he had one down). Two of my favorite actors are in it (Cathrine Keener and Oliver Platt) and David seemed to think that because the Director was a woman, that explained all the extreme close-up shots. Well, that, and perhaps the fact that we had to sit in some of those front row seats where you have to kind of turn your head sideways to really catch the facial expressions in the right angle.

What I got from the movie is that it made me think of giving. Catherine Keener’s character was that of a mom who was constantly giving to everyone around her..homeless people, relative strangers in the elevator, etc. but not so much to her only daughter and husband. In fact, I don’t know if I like the spin on the old story of the wife not giving to the husband so he turns to somebody else…but it did make me think of how many times it is easier for us to give to people we either don’t know or barely know rather than to think of how we can give to the ones we live with or see day in and day out in our lives.

David and I started pretty earlier in our marriage establishing boundaries with each other around what we could say to each other and how. It probably began during our first couple of years into our lives together, “The War of Roses” had nothing on us. We realized that if we truly did mean to stay with each other for the long haul, then we sure weren’t going to have much of a relationship if we continued on the path we were on. I picked up tools for expressing outrage and anger such as, well, take last night for instance. I don’t know what bee crawled into my bonnet but I was just fit to be tied about everything and everyone in my path.

On the way to see friends to a party that I did not want to go to, I was bitching and kvetching all the way there. To David’s credit, he really did try to humor me and get me to simmer down. But I just kept going on and on about everything. I’m grateful to say that I don’t have these kind of incidences too much anymore. It got to a point in our 20 minute drive, that I began to growl. Yep, you read that right, GROWL like a big ole bear or cat or dog. He tried to do a wimpy kind of growl back to me. But it just didn’t work. I just growled back bigger. I think I may have scared him too, but he didn’t stop me. After about 4-5 really good growls, I quieted down. Growling is just about as satisfying to me as howling at the moon when your sad or melancholy. Growling isn’t very pretty but it is better than saying something about someone or to someone that you can’t erase from their minds. Once it is out of your mouth, it is stuck in their memory.

We’ve all heard the adage that love and support should begin at home first. Kind of like that rule that you put the oxygen mask on your own face first and then on the toddler or person in the seat next to you. How can we really truly give to other people out there if we’re not giving in our own homes and communities? It might just blow your hair back if you knew just how many people around you have really anorectic love lives and families who you just would never think would.

Giving to those you are close to doesn’t have to be any big fancy painful thing either. Really it can be as simple as being mindful of saying, “please” and “thank you”. For people with my kind of foot-in-the-mouth disease, not firing back a sarcastic response can be a form of loving too. Then there are little things like acknowledging some little action that someone has done. When I really started looking for all the things David does around the house to make it a home, why there were quite a few things that I could thank him for doing. I believe we’ve created a safe space for us to be with each other. That kind of safety, for me, makes it easier for me to be the goofy person that I can be and consequently we sure do laugh a lot about really simple stuff. It’s great to connect with someone you trust.

All this may seem really commonsensical to you but you’d be surprised at just how many of us don’t heed these suggestions. Try thinking of ways you can give to those who you love or live with on a daily basis and see what develops. I don’t know, but you just may find that you want to love the one your with….could be….maybe….wouldn’t it be nice?

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