Thoughts on Marriage and Unconditional Love
I'm back home and wanted to pop in to wish you a very happy and long Labor Day weekend -- at least to those living in the US! I'll be taking off Monday to catch up but I'll be back on Tuesday for a new week of posts and inspiration for you to enjoy. But first, I want to tell you a little tale about true love.
I've been away from my husband for thirteen days and so naturally, a girl doesn't know what exactly to expect upon arriving home. Will there be groceries? Are things in order? Do I have to immediately pick up the pace and return to my regularly scheduled program of cooking and cleaning and being a, well, wife? It may sound rather old-fashioned/corny of me to even think this way, but I was raised in a very traditional family and I don't mind being a wife at all. I feel sad when I can't be around to take care of him as funny as that may sound -- it's true. I enjoy caring for him, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and well-being. I feel better when I know I'm doing my part. I've never been away for so long, I think 4 days has been the absolute max, so this trip was a pretty big deal for both of us and so I guess I was curious as to how I'd be received upon my arrival.
My husband gave me a very sweet homecoming. First, he arrived at the airport in a vest and tie. Daper. That's pretty sweet, right? He also had a little gift bag with goodies and a cute card inside with owls on it - he knows how much I love owls. I thought that was totally thoughtful. Once home, I walked in to be greeted by a flower arrangement in my office, another near my bed, another in the living room and still another on the dining table. I've photographed them and put them in this post. Aren't they varied and pretty? He went out and had 4 made for me, not 1, not 2... and placed them into various vases from our cabinet. He put such thought into selecting the vases, I noticed that right away, and when I asked him if he had thought about it he said, "Oh of course, I took time to think of which one complemented the flowers most."
The house = spotless. In fact, he even reorganized the kitchen closet and laundry closet, the storage room, the drawers in my office and the drawers in my nightstand. But that's not all. After I unpacked, he did all of my laundry and made a fresh, healthy salad for dinner. He turned down the bed. I went to bed early but when I awoke, I noticed all of the laundry was neatly folded and placed into stacks at the edge.
When I awoke this morning, a cup of coffee greeted me on my bedside table and the morning mail delivered with a kiss. He prepared breakfast and another delicious salad for lunch, this time with tuna. He is happy that I lost 10 pounds while on my book tour, I worked out at my hotels and ate very light, and so he now calls me "skinny maus" which is really, really cute and supportive. A few moments ago, he brought me a cup of green tea as I typed here on my computer. Now that's a man who is not only happy to have his wife home, but who is showing his appreciation for all of my hard work as he knows it was no small adventure to go away. It's nice to have that level of love and support after being away from home for so long.
I've been thinking a lot lately about love, especially unconditional love which I like to call true love. Unconditional love is to love someone regardless of their actions or beliefs. Don't you wish more would be willing to love this way? We'd have a better world, for certain. I've been loved in many ways from many different people, but my husband loves me unconditionally and I am so grateful and honored to have him in my life. I've had many say they love me but it's usually condition-based -- the minute I screw up, hurt them, make a mistake, have a different opinion, etc. I'm tossed aside only to be "loved" later once the person decides either to forgive me, realizes leaving was a sore mistake or when they know it's too late so the unconditional love they attempt to show isn't believable because I know that they wouldn't have shown it if they had to truly act on their words.
I've learned something about love over the years -- that even the slightest misstep shouldn't lose you the favor of those who truly love you, only to be left in tears until the person decides to forgive. You are then reeled back in again to walk on eggshells until the next misstep on your part. It's a very sad cycle. My girlfriend is going through a divorce now at thirty years old and I'm truly heartbroken for her. My other friend is in a terrible marriage but since he is a good father, she stays. It's heart breaking to be on the outside looking in at all of this, I hate to see such suffering in what should be a place of refuge: the home. My home is a place of refuge and I'm so grateful for this. I don't have to walk on eggshells here, I don't have to explain my shortcomings ad nauseum or the reasoning behind my missteps, and I don't have to feel guilty for pursuing my passions even when it sometimes means leaving home for awhile to pursue my goals.
You can't be the only one in a relationship who loves unselfishly, both must partake in this conscious choice to love fully. Even my own parents love me as long as I'm performing well, otherwise they are dissatisfied and withdraw. I guess that's why, now more than ever before, I've been thinking about unconditional love because so many around me don't seem to have it. It is very hard to find, but when you do find it - hold on to it, cherish it and don't let it go because it's rare. It's also quite beautiful, it's pure, it's fair and it's the best and only love that you ever need in your life. It holds you together, heals you, restores you and gives you so much more than you thought you needed.
I hope that you have one person in your life who loves you for you. We all need it, that kind of support is pretty special. And so, with that, I welcome a long weekend of time spent with my husband in our city celebrating the completion of a very successful book tour and the joy that comes with being reunited once again. I wish you a happy weekend to with the person who gives you unconditional love from the heart.
Enjoy your weekend, I'll see you on Tuesday dear friends!
(images: holly becker for decor8)