Today is Step 2 of Ten Steps to Unconditional Love: Unconditional love is like a muscle. It needs a daily workout.
"Love is not a feeling, love is an action...Love is as love does." -- M. Scott Peck
Yesterday, Step 1 (How to Forgive Yourself) encouraged you to renounce perfection and shoot higher -- for love! If you change nothing else, that will change your life. But why stop there? Why not really give your love muscle a workout? READ POST
Today is Step One of Ten Steps to Unconditional Love: Forgive yourself for being human and therefore imperfect.
"Perfection is the lowest standard any human can have." -- Heather Forbes
Unconditional love means dropping that list of ways you need to be different before you're good enough in your own eyes. Perfection is the lowest standard anyone can have. We aren't going for perfect. We're going for love!
Here's how: READ POST
"The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well” -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
We all know that children require unconditional love to thrive. But how many of us feel capable of giving it? We can't, quite simply, give something we don't have inside. Loving your child starts with loving yourself.
So if you didn’t have a perfect childhood, if you're more cranky than compassionate, should you just give up on being a good parent? No. Research shows that we can always grow inside, to become more loving to ourselves and others. In fact, the fastest path to stretching our hearts is parenting, because our love for our child motivates us to grow. (You sacrifice and work harder for your child than for your own well-being, right?)
It takes work, but the good news is that as our hearts get bigger, we’re not just better parents. We’re happier people.
Healing your ability to love takes daily attention and commitment, but it's quite do-able. Think of it like playing the piano. In the beginning, a scale is an effort. But in a year, you can play a sonata. Here's how. READ POST
"Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your
perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that's how the light
gets in." - Leonard Cohen
Imagine that guilt is like a red light blinking on your dashboard. When you see it, you:
a) Redouble your efforts to attain perfection, even if it’s giving you a headache.
b) Flog yourself.
c) Pull out the wire so it stops blinking, and go have a drink.
d) Thank the guilt and tell it to take a break. Then use the opportunity to check in: What could you do differently to be the parent you want your kids to have, while at the same time being kind to yourself? READ POST
"Before we're 8 years old, we have almost no
capacity to filter out information that comes to us. So if parents or
teachers, people we count on to nurture us, say something hurtful to us
before the age of eight...it goes in quite deep and we carry those
misbeliefs with us. They profoundly affect our relationship to
ourselves, to others...our sense of value in the world." -- Dr. David
What did you learn before you were eight? That you're a capable person, worthy of adoration and an abundant life, lovable exactly as you are, even with all of your messy imperfections, bodily functions, anger, fear, and neediness? Or maybe that you somehow aren't lovable enough to have your needs completely met, that some of your feelings and body parts are shameful, that harsh words or even blows might rain down on you at any time? READ POST
"Dr. Laura....Your email came right smack on a long day's journey into the evening to bedtime. My daughter, 4 was diagnosed with asthma since 3. Parenting a child who is frequently sick or missing out on school fun or frequently saying her dolls are sick is so tiring, if not painful. She was tired.. demanded things...She was just sick last week and she seemed to be getting sick again... I have done what I can to visit her doctors regularly and wonder what more to do...Maybe all I ask for is the courage to go on and on and maybe the day will come when taking charge of a young child with asthma is less guesswork and more two way communication. Thanks for reminding us that parenting is hard work." -- Linda READ POST
"Your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming, what you accept from others and what you say when you talk to yourself...It makes no difference whether you believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most." -- Richard Helmstetter, Ph.D. READ POST