Thursday, February 17, 2011

Loving the Way You Discover You Can

One of my oldest friends is going through an incredibly difficult time in her life right now. Today, while checking in on her on Facebook, this was her status:

You don't get to love the way you think you're prepared to, but you do get to love the way you discover you can.

I sat there, reading it over a number of times. What an incredibly powerful statement, relevant to our lives in so many ways.

This is so true in parenthood. We have an image, often, of what our children are supposed to be like - of how they should act, how they should be. And they don't always live up to our expectations, or turn out as we might hope. You don't get to love the way you think you're prepared to, but you do get to love the way you discover you can.

So much about life requires us to react to the events around us, rather than to create our own situations. A friend of mine once explained that your personality isn't shaped by what happens to you - but by how you REACT to what happens to you. As a child, your bike might get stolen, your friends might be mean, or you might not get into the school of your choice; as an adult, you might not get the job you wanted, you might not live where you had hoped, etc. - but life isn't about what happens to you, but about how you react to those events.

And parenting so often isn't about loving the children that we want to have - but about loving the children that we ACTUALLY have, as they are.

You don't get to love the way you think you're prepared to, but you do get to love the way you discover you can.

Amazing.

1 comment:

  1. So much wisdom, in such a tiny blog post. Thank you!

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