Yes, I know, it’s a hard one. Not to judge. We are full of opinions, our life is full of rules and regulations, the scrolls of “shoulds” and books of “must haves”. Everybody and everything is measured against each other and a list of “the absolute truth”.
What we forget is that everybody is fighting their own battle, most of them are invisible, nobody is here just on vacation, we are all here to learn our respective lessons, some we share with others, and some particular ones are just a lesson for us. Not to judge is to offer somebody your absolute and unconditional love of full acceptance and letting the person be exactly as they are, fight their battles at their own pace or fail their lessons and, hopefully, learn from mistakes, or, if not, to receive another opportunity to finally get it right.
When my son was little, he loved to play this special “game”, he’d name some horrible crime he’d supposedly commit and ask me if I’d still love him. Over and over again, no matter which Hannibal Lecter worthy crimes he could come up with, I answered the same thing “nothing in this world, not your transgressions nor people’s opinion of you, will make me stop loving you, but I will hate the hurt that you’d bring to others or to the world”. You can insert whatever psych interpretation of what the child was trying to do with this “game”, testing the boundaries of my love (there are none), trying to learn about his own personality and the difference between right and wrong, or attempting to grasp a concept of good and evil… Your guess is as good as mine… The reason behind it was not as important to me as to instill a foundation of love into him, that every child needs to be “infused with and enveloped with” in that absolute and ever accepting unconditional parental love, so then when they are punished or denied something or put in front of some hard choices, and even though may yell out “I hate your guts”, deep inside them, that foundation of love is always there, and they’d never question or lose a grip on it.
Now, this is where, unfortunately, parental influence stops, each child needs to incorporate that love in themselves and integrate in their own view of themselves and build self esteem and self worth on it. Much easier said than done, I agree! And I agree that not all families, situations and circumstances are the same, some parents were absent, some didn’t do a good job in the love “department”, and some other children were just “hard” to love. But no matter what happened to you, the foundation of love has to be present so we love, accept and nourish ourselves first. If you think you didn’t get it or didn’t get enough, look again, it may have been you overlooked something, or maybe it was present in some other people that showed it towards you, or maybe you got it from some other unexpected sources. I think it’s your “job” to find it somewhere, somehow so you can start living with love inside and pass it on, to your children, your family, friends, people around you, things and places that make you happy and fulfilled.
Find your love, or otherwise you will lose yourself.
L is for love, for juicing some “life’s” lemons sometimes so you can make lemonade, and for checking out this recipe
(And Happy Passover to all who celebrate tonight! Make them before the sundown or wait till the week is over :))
Mixed Fruit Turnovers with Limoncello Glaze