Sunday, June 14, 2009
Face dark against the pillow, he has fallen asleep while reading. He's been a long while down. I trot downstairs to grab an ice cold drink. I return and quietly start to help him out of his uncomfortable jeans and shirt. When finished, I hold his head for a small drink. He grunted and nestled back down to sleep. What have I accomplished?
Several days ago, I graduated to the next principle in the Love Dare, Thoughtfulness. What is thoughtfulness? How does it differ from kindness and selflessness and how is it the same? I have pondered this for a few days. Thought full. Full of thoughts about another. Yes, when courting, we think of each other all the time... every waking minute in fact. As newlyweds, we'd call sometimes 10 plus times a day, just because we were thinking of the other and wanted to say hi. I admit, 18 years down the road, a full day can pass without a single thought of my spouse. My brain is full of responsibilities, children, tasks, and yes . . . myself. When he walks in at night, "Oh Hi!" Then back to my busy mind.
When someone gives a "thoughtful gift" we mean that they put a lot of thought into what the other needs. So, I guess we start by just thinking of the other more, purposfully calling them to mind.
What would he like, what would make him happy? I am out of practice. It feels rusty. Oh! I used to make him cookies all the time, and save him a chunk of dough to eat. But it is not healthy and if I cook I want to engage in creative expression and make something new. "But this is not about you." my inner voice replies. "It is about him." Oh.
Maybe I will call during the day. Just to say hello. "Hello! How's my sweetheart? I'm worried about you and want to make sure you are doing okay. You've put in a long day for someone just out of surgery. What can I do for you today? Cookies? Oh. What kind? The usual- with blended oatmeal? Oh." The conversation stalls. "Love you! Bye."
Today, we rubbed against each other and chaffed at the contact. He said hurtful things. Too sensitive, I took offense. The day is almost over. I remember the Love Dare. That is how I find him upstairs . . . asleep. Now I ask myself again. What was gained by all this?
He acceped each action as his due. No special appreciation was offered. He didn't even drink all my water.
The answer comes quickly. I gained love. Each time I focused my thoughts on him, my heart softened. Every movement made in his behalf warmed me to him and his needs. My thoughts created love. My cookies created love. My water created love, and my assistance created love - not in him - in me.
Though creaky and rusty, my thoughts can again be trained to return to my someone special, and I will be blessed for it.