Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Love Language and the Circus Clown

If you've heard of love languages, you are quite likely in the same boat as I am; adrift. The practical application, especially with multiple people to love correctly, is abstract. Sure there are plenty of ideas on how to do it perfectly well. I don't live in a perfect world.

I live in a world where the very things my children are "needing" to feel loved are often the opposite of what I have to offer in a given moment. For instance:

1) The child that needs to be listened to; 24/7. I don't have 24/7. Do I have more time than currently offered, probably. Does it ever seem to be enough, no.

2) The child that wants to throw sand, mulch, pies, you name it, in my face and have the loving gesture returned. I don't ever like anything thrown in my face.

3) The child that wants to play the invented game for hours on end. I don't have hours on end. Should I? What I do have, isn't ever enough.

You get the point.

I am working on it, I am. But I most often feel like a circus clown; running around trying to please everyone while there is a fire under my feet, water about to dump from a bucket somehow suspended in mid-air always positioned perfectly above my head, and a series of hoops primed with petroleum jelly just waiting for me to jump through. No wonder I have plenty to repent for at the end of each day.

I can think of One who loved perfectly. It seems the formula might just be; be my best self, look for the good in others, genuinely encourage and praise that best part, be responsible and hold to simple truths, and make sure there is time to talk things out rather than hurriedly discipline in order to get on with life.

One thing I have implemented and is working nicely is an hour for each child each week. Depending on the child we may: color while chatting, walk and talk, visit the pet store, have a tea party, play a game, whatever the child wants to do. It's not my time, it's theirs and they get to use it. Their love meter gets pumped up and I get patience and understanding from them when I can't fill the need exactly as they wish exactly when they want.

Life is discipline. Clowns have a tough job. Lots of people make lots of money on self help books. Overload comes in many forms. There is usually one source, whatever you may call it, that centers and grounds. The best is already in each of us.

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