Saturday, June 12, 2010

Love Revolution Baby!

Deryl says......It was nice to be able to go back to work at the office this past week. It offer some sense of normalcy which for some reason brings a little comfort. Kelley is no longer suffering intense pain everyday. She is able to do more and more for herself which I know makes her feel better. Kelley has said all along that she was not real concerned about losing hers boobs. But it is starting to affect her now. She knows how much I love her and that I don't care but breasts are a symbol of womanhood. How can it not affect you when you lose them?
Kelley has handled this situation so amazingly well. She has a very emotional day about every 4 to 5 days. But she allows herself to feel what she is feeling and expresses it to those she loves and trusts verbally and shares much of it on this blog. Sometimes she will try to get down on herself for getting into a negative emotional state. But how could you not? Can you imagine anyone having any part of their body completely removed and not suffering through some kind of grieving process. I know I have felt my own grief through this and my body is still intact.
The thing about going through something like this is that it can actually allow you to deal with emotional wounds of the past as well. You are going to suffer through fear, anger, and pain when your family is battling cancer. So why not use that fear, anger, and pain to heal past hurts. Kelley mentioned that she was a life coach in her previous post (which was so moving and profound). I am a life coach as well. Kelley and I went through the same coaching program as clients and students together. Without being a client and then a coach I don't think either one of us could handle this situation as we have. The fact that I have allowed myself to weep openly and discuss it with others and even weep in front of others is such a huge step forward for me. Before I would have thought in my mind "quit acting like a girl". When the reality is it would greatly benefit many of us men to act a little more like girls when it comes to knowing and expressing our emotions. There was a time when something would be bothering me and Kelley would ask me what is wrong. I would always say "nothing". Because I was not even aware of the emotions I was feeling at the moment. Kelley would continue to question me about my day and would wind up discovering exactly what I was upset about. She would wind up saying something like "Deryl you are mad because your boss didn't go with your idea" or something similar. And I would realize she was exactly right. She could pinpoint my emotions better than I could myself. That is great if you have a wife that can do that and if she could be with you every second of the day. I am not an expert yet in recognizing and expressing my emotions but I am much better. And I can tell you life is much easier to handle when you express what you are feeling in a healthy and appropriate way.
I think in the past, on some level, I was afraid that if I acknowledged and expressed my feelings it would cause a flood of emotion I could not control. I thought that was weak and unmanly. I also feared I would hurt someone else with my expression of emotion. The thing is when I tried to keep it all in I was hurting myself and I would still hurt others. Because if you live with someone and are with them everyday you are at some point going to hurt their feelings. But by acknowledging how you feel and expressing it in a healthy way you will hurt them less and less often and become more healthy yourself.
I am a work in progress. As you can tell from my previous posts I still snap at my family sometimes and then feel guilty for it afterward. But I am getting better. And that is the key.
One thing that I have discovered and experienced at a deeper level than ever is the love of God and the love of others. Experiencing love either internally or through the actions of others and realizing that nothing in return is expected from you is revolutionary to your life. Then when your opportunity to love someone else presents itself it is so easy when you feel loved. It is as if your love for another has multiplied.
As I write this the macho side of me is saying what a bunch of mushy drivel. But that macho side of me is the side that directed me to actions that were destructive to myself and others. Anyone who knew me in high school and into my mid-twenties knows exactly what kind of behaviors I am referring to. I am not saying that men should not be masculine. I still love football and a good action movie. But men would be well served to redefine what masculinity means to them. Womanizing, stoic, emotionally distant, physically tough and superior to others are the types of definitions of manhood that are antiquated and should be obsolete. There is nothing more masculine than caring for your loved ones in a way that allows them to feel your love for them.
The place to start is to know and experience God's intense love for you. You do not have to be better for God to love you. You do not have to change for God to love you. You have not done anything in your past that has caused God to cease loving you. God forgives you before you even ask because he was never angry with you. God  only wants the best for you and wants you to experience that love in a real and tangible way. I can tell you that He will do it if you will allow Him. I have done some despicable things in my past. Yet I can feel God's overwhelming love for me today. I have tried to fill up the emptiness in side with substances, things, and shallow relationships. I have lived what some would think is a dream life. I lived in the Cayman Islands right on the water. I made more money than I needed and had many short relationships with beautiful women. I had parties all the time and had many friends. Yet I can recall laying on the beach with a pretty girl staring at the stars and thinking to myself "Is this all there is?" I had some worthwhile and valuable experiences during that time as well. But so much of my time was consumed with trying to fill this internal void and I didn't even know I was doing it at the time. But the past no longer exists. It only exists in my mind when I remember it. Kelley mentioned in her post that we spend too much time looking behind us. We drag our past into our present and we see things today through the lens of our yesterdays. Today is all you have. This present moment is the only moment you can do anything with. You can plan actions for the future but when you act it is in the present moment. Let us bring our full attention to this moment and let go of our past. God chooses not to remember it so why should we. By letting go of our past we can bring our complete love an attention into this moment of life and pour out that love in every opportunity that presents itself to us. God loves me so that I can love you. I am starting a Love Revolution. Will you join me?

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