Take your gloves off

We all just want to be loved. I think of it often — when I feel I am acting out, when I see a colleague lose it, a friend struggle, or loved one unhappy. At the heart of everything love is the core of why we do so many things. We want it. We want it all the time. This idea from Mark Nepo in “The Book of Awakening” says it all for me:

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

I was thinking about it in relation to Thanksgiving Day. Think about how loved you are and share that with others this week. Even if you might not feel loved – you are. Someone said in a meeting recently “You get what you give.” I love that. It is so true. As we go into a day of gratitude and thanks, remember to take off your gloves and get rid of your layer of protection. Be the raw and real you.

Make sure the doorknob feels cold, and the car handle feels wet, and maybe you will get more kisses goodbye, or maybe you should give them more often.

I hope she is proud.

Another year has gone by and Sunday is, yet again, another Mother’s Day. I am still not yet a mother myself. Each year, I have a bit of nostalgia and a bit of numbness for a day that comes each year. It has been 19 years since I have celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom. It is hard to believe that it has been almost two decades. How is that even possible? I struggle with the concept that I have spent more of my life without my mom then I ever spent with her in my life.

my mama

my mama

Has it made me independent? Hell yeah. Has it made me miss her? Hell yeah. I have often been asked by others: “What is the hardest part about losing a loved one?” Many think it is the days and weeks surrounding their passing. Yes, that part is hard. What is harder? The months later. For a child, it might be a future “bring mom to school” day. For a teenager, it might be going to prom and wishing their mom was there to see them off, or wishing their loved one was there to watch them receive their diploma. Whatever the situation, it can be incredibly hard months and often years later when the depths of pain and sadness rip you apart in ways you never expected.

I can tell you this from experience. The day before my wedding, Chris and I made the decision to get married — just the two of us on a beach in Hawaii. It felt so right for us to start this stage of our life together, just us saying our vows together. No fluff, no commitments to others, just two lives joining together. That day, before we got married, I got sad. I had no idea I would miss my mom so much. Just thinking about it almost ten years later I have tears streaming down my face. I wanted her to be able to watch me with pride join my life with Chris, and yet I had no idea her absence would be so hard for me until that moment when I was preparing for my special day.

Chris might have thought my oddness that day meant I was afraid of getting married and that I might back out of our wedding. Yet, I was not afraid of marrying Chris, I was just sad. I had no idea the absence of my mom would hit me so hard on such a happy time in my life. I do not remember if I missed my dad that day, only that my mom should have been there and watched me marry this wonderful man.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I hope you can see all that I have become in life and all that I have. I am a grateful daughter with so much to be thankful for every day. Life has not always been easy, but I have learned so much along the way. It has made me speak up, say what is on my mind (whether Chris likes it or not) and I think you would be proud.