Below is a blog post from one of my new favorite people for inspiration, Elizabeth Husserl of Inner Economics. I've had a few sessions with her and each one has helped me see a part of myself I hadn't seen before, just when I thought I had seen them all!? In particular my relationship with money needed some major work. Somewhere along the way mONEy (my new spelling to support how much I adore finding words within words) came to represent love. I felt so empty without it and noticed that was how my parents showed me they cared. It began to feel so conditional and fleeting, which is also my experience of love. Sugar has also represented this for me in the past, but that's another story. So through Elizabeth's coaching and my own noticing, I've separated the two. Love is love and money is money. They can meet knowing they aren't one in the same. So, on with unconditional love and that it exists, all the time, whether or not we feel it. Here's a quote from Rumi to get us started, "And just the moment when you are all confused, leaps forth a voice, hold me close. I'm love and I'm always yours."
Unconditional Love (and Money) Last night was one of the hardest nights I had as a mother in a long time. My daughter has her second cold ever, and combined with the first molar she’s pushing through, it’s been a couple of rough, not-so-much-sleep days. The usual pattern is this- she falls into a deep slumber for twenty minutes (because she is utterly exhausted) and then wakes up and can’t quite get back to sleep. (Yes, my friends, knowing how to sleep is an acquired skill!) We spend hours this way- her sleeping for bits at a time, waking up screaming in sudden pain, and then I holding her across my chest until she dozes off again. I’m sure other parents would appreciate me saying this- it’s a lot of work!
So not surprisingly, this morning I was not my cheerful self. I longed for another hour of sleep or even a warm cup of mate on the bedside table to wake up to. I had neither. Instead I found myself early on my living room floor watching my daughter put on her pink frilly tutu and look to me to play. In my exhausted self, I couldn’t help but smile. Her in-the-moment experience was flawless. Yes, she too had had a rough night last night, but her morning was unaffected. Her nighttime struggle was a thing of the past; what mattered to her was that I sit there now, this morning, to play. She was all smiles. So again, I couldn’t help but smile.
I found myself talking to her, acknowledging that we had had a rough go and I might not be in the best mood. But I assured her “you are still loved”. I realized how important that was- to tell her that I still loved her regardless of how I was feeling. Obvious? Maybe. But I can’t tell you how many people I work with who doubt if they were unconditionally loved. As a result they look for this love other places- in dependent relationships, in their work, and more often than not, from money (i.e.- “money if you don’t show up in my life or if people don’t give you to me, I am not loved”). The emotional correlation of money and love runs pretty deep.
This morning as I uttered those words to my daughter I felt a chill run through my spine. I knew that my parents felt the same. Even when I kept them up (more so in my adolescent years) or even when I turned in the opposite direction from the expectations they had, I was still loved. Was I always understood? No, not always. Did they always agree with me? Not necessarily. But time and time again they too showed up and to the best of their capacity accepted me. That, is unconditional love.
So with the intention to help more people see that unconditional love does in fact exist, and moreover, it exists around them, I share my this story to you. Even in those moments that we are sleep deprived, down, and even upset, we still know how to love. Even in those moments that we are frustrated and disappointed, we still love. Even when we imagine we’ve done the worst thing imaginable, we are still loved. Yes my friends, even when we are utterly human (which is in the end, what we’re meant to be) we love and we are loved. No need to put that need on money. It just confuses everything.
Let yourself be who you are. Feel your joys and your pains. And remember, by someone somewhere, you are unconditionally loved.