Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Love in Five Parts - Part II

So, if I were to tell you my father was a narcissist to the nth degree could you understand how I love him? What about if I told you my mother passed her codependency on to me, could you see how I love her? How about this…what if I told you I love myself even though I inherited some of both my parent’s character defects? Could you love me too?

It’s a fascinating study in human behavior, this need to love and feel love. What exactly does love do for us? Does it provide wealth, freedom, stability, anything tangible? No. Does it feed us, clothe us, and keep a roof over our head? I guess that depends on your perspective, but not really.

I think love as it is defined (refer to last week’s post – Part I) gives us wings. Oh heck, now that’s a Hallmark card in the making. Sorry. Love gives us the opportunity to put ourselves out there to another human being. We lay bear our hearts, souls, brains to someone else. It’s terrifying and freeing all at the same time.

And what if our way of love is tempered by narcissistic or codependent parents, or both? Then how do we put forth, or even know, what it is we want to give and receive in love?

I learned a lot from my parents, which is what I will share today. This is Part II after all and a fitting place, the first layer of ingredients in our L-O-V-E pie. Sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not!

I have always loved my parents and I think, despite all the hell I put them through, my parents have always loved me. I know they both came from very difficult circumstances in their own childhoods and as an adult I try to grasp every part of that, and how they raised me, in order to more fully understand and love them. Whew!

My father travelled a lot when I was young which I guess left me always wanting for his attention. When he was home he was typically in need of space. Needless to say, I was a busy-body and probably always in his way. But, my dad did a great job at giving me all of the opportunities and benefits he didn’t have as a child. I traveled, attended nice dinners, private schools, and for the most part got what I wanted when I wanted it. Those things did not make up for Dad not being around. I still missed him and that put me in a position to want a man’s love and attention very early on.

My mom, on the other hand, was a doting, caring, loving mom who stood by me through thick and thin. Anyone would want that, right? But, what neither of us got at the time, and I think this is the case of most parents and children, is that I needed to stand on my own two feet, learn lessons the hard way, crack my freaking skull so I’d know not to traverse the rocks of the river in flood waters. You know? So yes, mom was always there but because I had never felt the pain of making my own mistakes, I thought at a very early age that I knew what was best for me.

They influenced me in both extremely positive and terribly negative ways. As an adult I have studied their individual impacts on me and hope that I have learned enough junior psychology not to pass along certain tendencies to my daughter. However, the best ones I pray she will get tenfold, like patience, kindness, a bright smile, a willingness to own up to her mistakes, to give freely of herself. These are the things I want for her.

I will leave you to digest Part II and eagerly await Part III. A cliffhanger of sorts. Until next week, jump in with both feet and tell me about your upbringing and the people who influenced you. Do you recognize what you do today that you adopted from your childhood? Are there things you wish you could change?

Until tomorrow, I remain Unstoppable.

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