We’re Learning How to Love Each Other


1

“I’m teaching my heart to spread its wings …” (photo by izabelha; used with permission)

Rewritten from original post on July 28, 2010

Many mothers who are parenting children from the hard places carry around a massive amount of guilt. They feel guilty that sometimes they don’t want to be around their child. They have no loving feelings for them. They pull away from a hug or touch just as much as their child. They know that the bonding stuff is the medicine their child so desperately needs, but the thought of doing it makes their skin crawl.

And they don’t feel safe enough to tell anyone. I mean, seriously? Can you show up at PTA and say, “Yep. Today my kid just walked in the room and I immediately felt like someone knocked the wind out of me and I almost dry heaved.” We are alone in the parenting. We are alone in the behaviors. We are also so painfully alone in how we feel about our kids. We are alone in our guilt because we feel like something must be wrong with US. I mean … how could any mom feel that way about their child?

Thank goodness, some of you allow yourselves the opportunity to unload on me. I will be the first to remind you that we are trying to love children who are doing every single thing in their power to make that impossible. Any normal person on the entire planet would feel exactly – EXACTLY – the same way.

If you can endure the kinds of things we do, and always have warm, fuzzy feelings and not be repulsed by your child, I would dare say you are not normal. Your are made of plastic.

The truth is, there are many, many days that our love for our children is a choice. We just wake up and choose to show them love. We do not want to. We want to hurt them. We want to ignore them. We want to punish them. Our hearts are so beaten down to nothing. The experts can tell us it is not about us – it is all about the fear and shame. But all we see is anger. All we feel is the punching and the spitting and the biting. All we hear are the words that cut us to the core, when we are being stellar in our love.

It crushes you. It makes you bitter.

To you – the parents and grandparents and caregivers of these hurting kids – I love you. I love you so very deeply. I am sorry that we have to do this kind of work for healing to happen. I am sorry that we have to be different. I am sorry that we find ourselves wanting to WANT to feel love for our kids.

Today I was standing in my closet, getting dressed, when this song came on. I’ve heard it before, but today I thought of me … and I thought of you. I wept for all of us.

I love you.

**************************************

Teaching My Heart
(click link to listen)
by Joules Graves

i’m teaching my heart to spread its wings – unfolding
like teaching my fingers to play these strings – holding love
love… holding love

well, it stretches and aches and I’ve learned from my mistakes
sometimes my heart, like a guitar string, breaks
and I wonder how long this healing will take
how long this healing will take

sometimes it seems just too damn slow
but we crawl before we walk you know
we crawl before we walk, you know

one step and then another
we’re learning how to love each other
one step and then another
we’re learning how to love each other

one step and then another
we’re learning how to love and be loved

now it’s true when they say
you can’t love someone else
until you can truly love yourself
i’m learning how to love myself

it’s true when they say you can’t accept someone else
until you can truly accept yourself
we’re all learning how to accept ourselves

sometimes it seems just too damn slow
but we crawl before we walk, you know
we crawl before we walk, you know

one step and then another
we’re learning how to love each other
one step and then another
we’re learning how to love each other

one step and then another

we’re learning how to love

and be loved

Tags: ,