remembering the important things

I took a long time to learn a very simple truth. I thought I knew this truth all of my life, and I did – in theory. Unfortunately the honest truth is I don’t grasp theories easily. Ideas and concepts are so very intuitive and abstract.

I learn through the concrete. I need examples. Then I travel through the example to find my way to the theory, the concept, or the idea. THEN I understand.

Maybe the reason the many examples of this truth failed to penetrate into my soul is because I thought I had the theory grasped. No matter what the reason all I know is that it took me a painfully long time to understand that I am loved. And that it is okay for me to let that love in. All the way in.

But now I know this to be true. I am loved. The problem is, I often forget. Not because I try to forget. I think it is simply human nature to forget that one is loved. And then to operate as though the entire world requires something from me in order to get something in return. Including love.

Because of this propensity for forgetting I am loved as well as a human resistance to letting that love all the way in, I set reminders for myself all around my home. Some silk flowers in a decorated yogurt container from one of my son’s preschool classes. A homemade card sent to one of my children from a dear friend.

And pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Mostly my home is adorned with pictures of my immediate family. The piano is a shrine to my sons. Pictures from my wedding are scattered through the entire house. There is even a picture of Phil and I when we were dating that peeks out from behind the dishes when the stack gets low enough.

Tucked behind the glass doors of the china cabinet in between a few stacks of plates is where pictures from afar get stashed. They change every so often but there are a couple photos that have been lingering there for quite a while now.

I have two women who have poured into me during my life more than I can say. One opened her home and her family to me in the confusing teenage years when I desperately needed both. Another has listened for countless hours to the ramblings of a young mother trying to find herself.

And every time I go to get my camera, which perches on top of the china plates behind these pictures, the pictures fall out and I have to readjust them. While my hands fumble to rest the unstable treasures, I am reminded that I am loved.

These are safe people who have been faithful to me when I have been a mess in return.

And that is true love.

And it is okay to let that love in.

All the way.