July 11, 2016

Love Is Unconditional, But It Also Needs Maintenance

Love is unconditional, but it also needs maintenance. I wish I had learned this lesson sooner.

As the child of two parents who have been married for over 30 years and definitely as long as I've been alive, I always felt lucky and fortunate that I had a pretty good idea of what it takes to make a long term relationship work. In many ways, I do. I have seen my parents struggle through some pretty rough times. And they stuck together through all of it. However, that is not to say that I knew everything...

Love is unconditional. Of course you might get mad at your brother or sister when they stick your favorite Pokemon in the toilet and
loudly proclaim "Gotta flush 'em all!" You might also pull out your favorite Bulbaped and give your bro a hydro-pump to the face. But if an outsider came and tried to give your brother or sister a swirly, you would come to their defense with no second thoughts.

The last week has been an "interesting" learning experience, to say the least. Sometimes we get lost so deep in our own little worlds that we lose sight of what's happening around us. Sometimes we lose sight of how our closed-minded focus can affect those near us who only want to share their time with us.

Love needs to be maintained. Your brother might know you love him but unless you give him a high five or a fist-bump once in a while, he might not feel that his love is being reciprocated. Unless you hug your sister and tell her you love her once in a while, she'll start to feel like you only ever dropped her doll's head in dog doo to be mean to her, not to challenge her to improve her handling skills for later in life when she has little poop-machines of her own running around.

I have been very fortunate to grow up with two loving parents who, despite their flaws and arguments, stuck together and made things work. However, I have also had the misfortune of not seeing what they do behind closed doors that also contribute to the relationship's success.

Ok, not LITERALLY behind closed doors. (Sorry for the painful mental image) But figuratively. My parents were old fashioned, vanilla and (thankfully) kept their displays of affection away from the eyes of their children. But without at least seeing my parents cuddle, hug and flirt together, it gave myself and my siblings the idea that love is a lot more automatic than it is.

Love is unconditional, but it also needs to be maintained. It took some harsh realities to slap me in the face before I realized this. Don't let it happen to you.

Call your sister and tell her you love her...

You never know how much such a small simple act can make such a big world of difference in the lives of those who care about you.

-written by Mahatma John-di