“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~ John Lennon
My grandfather, Glenn passed away in the spring. He was the first person, outside of my parents to teach me about love. One night, I awoke and couldn't sleep, I noticed a light on in the house so went to investigate, Grandpa couldn't sleep either. He made us toast with his homegrown, homemade, raspberry jam, my mouth still waters for his jam! He would dance with me for what seemed like hours around the house. He would read to my brother and me as we were going to sleep, and play all sorts of funny little games children make up. In his presence I always felt loved, and I always felt as if he was so proud of me, and not just me, all of his grandchildren. I gained courage from his love to love myself, to explore the world with an open heart and to love kindly.
Somewhere in my youth I lost the courage to love myself. Earning other peoples' love and acceptance became more important. Fear became the driving force and even though I was moving through life, going through the motions of seeking a passion, participating in thrilling activities to gain excitement, changing with every crowd so that I could gain acceptance, I was numb. I knew what was happening wasn't 'normal' and yet I couldn't seem to stop. I don't know how long this cycle ran, I can only imagine at least a decade.
On March 17, 2007, I was finally given a moment to pause, reset and let my heart thaw. There was a realization that with all the need to earn acceptance and love, I had no idea who I was and I was scared to find out my truth! Over the last 10 years there have been shoulders to cry on, chances to explore what being alive really means, chances to have an intimate relationship with my Creator, chances to open back up to passion, excitement, acceptance, and room top practice loving myself again. I have gained courage to explore the world with an open heart and to love kindly through the love of some amazing people!
More reasons to celebrate in this spring include Liam's half birthday on March 14, 'Pi Day' and on March 21 we get to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, a day to celebrate the extra chromosome 21 (3; 21). There are so many ways to celebrate this day, silly socks, crazy hats, donating to an organization, doing random acts of kindness, and mostly loving the people who have been blessed with an extra gift! We are deciding what is in store for 3/21 this year, what we do know is that silly socks and hats were a blast at a recent gathering, and random acts of kindness are always fun.
The other season that has always been magical is fall. In the fall there is this excitement from school days of beginning classes again. Who would the teacher be? Who would the friends be? What would transpire this year? The fall of 2009, I met Sean. The night we met, I felt like a bumbling fool, and could only be fully me in all my glory and imperfections! It took another month and a half for me to have another chance with him, I needed more time and practice in loving myself. Since that night he has been the reason I thrive to love. I know I can't meet his love if I don't love myself. His love runs so deep sometimes I get frightened and shut back down, just to open back up and love again. Our relationship has taught me about the fearlessness of love, the shear excitement of being alive, and reminds me that with love, the world is healing and is a better place. I joked with friends before Liam was born that he was the product of our overflowing love...now I believe that even more! How could we be so lucky to be the parents to this little being who loves most everyone!? Who's heart is so freely open to so many that in grocery stores people recognize him before us?
When Liam was first born love was put to the test, could we remain open-hearted and full of love. There were moments that fear won, thankfully they were just moments! Could we be gentle with our own imperfections and fears? Remembering those days what I get is an overflowing of love.