Musings about unlimited love

no limitsThis morning someone said “love has no limits.” The idea struck me. What exactly do we mean by limitless?Does it mean that we love not matter what or that the love is as wide as the universe? I suppose it can mean either.

On the face of it,it is true. Love should have no limits. That’s when we think of unconditional love. The kind of love that keeps on loving no matter what. This is a mother who loves her child who is a serial killer. This is loving the warts and ugly temperament. This is loving the child who actually hates us.

But there are some loves that even though limitless must have constraints on them. An abused women loves her husband but needs to learn to love herself and move away from the abuse. A child will love a drug addicted parent who doesn’t care for them. That love doesn’t make the neglect forgivable. A spouse may have to divorce an alcoholic partner. The love may still be there but the situation is unmanageable.

There are cases where the love may be limitless but one sided and the relationship is fated to fail. Is it possible for the limitless love to continue? I don’t know.

love isIf we are Christian we are asked to love without reservation. Loving this way may not require us to accept the behavior associated with it. We are also asked to love ourselves and this may be the hardest thing of all.

It seems to me that to love genuinely and unconditionally we must first love and accept ourselves with all our flaws. This is what allows us to love others flaws and all. This may be love without limits.

Memories

best-memoriesYesterday my brother-in-law flew in to visit us. He and my husband have not had lots of time to visit each other over the years and this visit ia wonderful thing. They are having a wonderful time sharing memories of childhood and information about the family. We don’t often take advantage of renewing memories and sharing information.

My mother and my aunt were the last two of their generation. When they died all their memories and information were gone. I often think of something that I wish I had asked when they were here.

Two years ago my best friend died taking with her the only connection to my childhood. I don’t think I realized what it would be like to lose that connection. It was so wonderful to be able to pick up the phone and say “remember when?” Now that link is gone.

This is not an unusual happening in life. If we are blessed enough to have a long life there will be many connections to our past that we will outlive. My grandmother lived to be 100 and I can remember her saying that there was no one left who remembered the world she grew up in. It is clear that it is a loss.

dr seuss

If you have elderly relatives take the time to record their memories. It doesn’t matter if they are written down or recorded. There are some online companies who will set up a line that can be called and memories recorded for posterity. What a wonderful idea. My daughter wrote down some of my grandmother’s stories and I am working on the stories my father told. He was a wonderful storyteller and I don’t want them forgotten.

Past history will disappear quickly and once gone it is gone forever. Take the time to keep those memories.

We are “more than”

first stepI have been thinking about the first step. The first step is the hardest one. Actually moving forward. Acknowledging that there is a reason to do something. The major part of this is accepting reality. We have to take an honest look and see the truth. People always talk about an alcoholic hitting bottom and realizing that there is a problem. AA works on the principle that the person states “I am an alcoholic.”  They have to accept reality.

Too often when we can see our own issues we also see ourselves as “less than.” Society has had a part in this. If we have any weakness we are not as complete as other people. For too long people who have addiction problems or mental health problems have been relegated to the fringes of society. It makes us very reluctant to expose ourselves to the rest of the world…with good reason. Medicine has taken a role in doing this. Many physicians still do not see addiction or mental illness as a disease. We are just weaker. We don’t try hard enough to fix it.

strength

The truth is that anyone who is willing to acknowledge their issues is the stronger person. Great strength is required to see ourselves clearly and take that step forward to make changes in our lives.

Don’t ever think of yourself as “less than.” The truth is we are all “more than.”

An interesting hospital visit

mayoToday I am tired. My husband and I traveled to the Mayo Clinic for him to schedule a knee replacement there. His knee was originally injured at West Point playing lacrosse and then his time in the Army jumping out of airplanes didn’t help. He had a replacement 21 years ago and now it is failing.

It was interesting to go to a major medical center. It is so different from a local hospital. We stayed overnight in a hotel to make our morning appointment. The hotel is in the Mayo complex so one can assume that most people are there because of a medical issue.

People were so anxious to talk. Everywhere we were, at dinner, at breakfast, on the shuttle to the hospital people just wanted to talk…mostly about why they were there. We saw all sorts of people. Some young, some old, some in between.

I don’t know if all the people who wanted to talk were extroverts or if some introverts were included. It seemed that talking about their problems allowed them to ventilate. I am sure that most people there have major medical issues on they wouldn’t be there. Everyone seemed anxious to support each other.

Some came from foreign countries and spoke little English. The center has an international office that greets and helps them both with translations and to manage their way through the system.

We got through his appointments and will have to return for the tests the physician wants in order to determine the best course of treatment.

This is healthcare at its best. Unfortunately not everyone has access. The Mayo Clinic web site is one of the best for medical information. I have used it for years to answer questions for others. It has more educational information available than any other medical center I have looked up.

Don_t+believe+everything+you+read!If you want information on a problem please use Mayo as a resource. The information is accurate and well written. Too often people find medical answers on the web that are not good resources. Some of the things people have told me that they got from the web are really scary. Just look up mayoclinic.org.

It was good to get home to very excited and loving dogs and sleep in my own bed.

 

Can we know too much?

Information booth and what to do with it.Today there is so much that we can find out about ourselves. It has become popular to have you DNA done and discover you roots. (if the tests are accurate) You can be tested to see if you have the gene for breast cancer or find out if you are likely to get Alzheimers. Each day there is something new.

My father had kidney stones and you can inherit the tendency to be a “stone makes.’ This is someone who has stones from an early age. I inherited that. We can also check to see if we have genes for some diseases that might make us choose to not have children such as Cystic Fibrosis. I suspect that as time goes on we will face some moral dilemmas and have to make some uncomfortable decisions.

Hopefully we will not reach a point where the choice is taken out of our hands but it is not impossible.

I do wonder if I knew that there was a possibility I would pass on anxiety and depression what I would have decided. The thing is you wouldn’t know if descendants would have a mild problem or a serious one.

choice

I don’t think that any of us would want to pass on something negative to our children and grandchildren. Sometimes too much knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Where has the family gone?

My oldest daughter called this morning on her way to work. She works at a major Children’s Hospital as a nurse case manager. She see some of the most critical and heart wrenching cases. In the past she worked at another unit that was an adolescent med-psych unit so she has experience with psych.

suicide

Today she was distressed that a short while ago her bosses son overdosed and died. They don’t know if it was suicide or an accident. Then she learned that a friend’s child committed suicide. This morning she was distressed that she is seeing so many cases of young adults and teens in crisis. Like the rest of us she has no idea why this is happening but is terrible concerned about the culture that is creating mental distress in the young.

It seems that both of these cases were a total surprise and not the result of known mental health issues. Of course she realizes that the problem could have been there unrecognized but in these two cases it seems not.

Recently several blogs that I read have talked about the current TV series 13 Reasons. The blogs have been very negative about the value of this program and its influence. I have not watched it….I watched a brief piece and the premise turned me off so I quit. The blogs seem to feel that this show has a bad influence on young people and the blogs were written by people close to the age.

good family

There are so many problems with the structure of the family today that it is easy for me to see why children are stressed. In some cases the children run the family and the adults take second place. When this happens children don’t feel safe. There is no strong adult influence. Parents must be parents.

In other cases the family is so busy with outside activities that there is no family time. They don’t eat together or take time to talk and share. Children need structure and down time with their family to feel connected.

Like my daughter I am equally concerned about the pattern we are seeing in children and young adults. I pray that some change will come about that re-centers the family group and gives children security and grounding.

Raising children to become anxious and prone to violence and suicide is a plague upon our society.

Pets are a joy

It is impossible to say how much I love having dogs. I grew up with dogs as my mother and grandmother loved them and we always had at least one. Now we have two rescued basset hounds. For 50 years of my married life we had dachshunds. One day my son brought a sad looking basset hound to our house. A friend of his couldn’t keep the dog and my son knew that we were easy marks. Once she came into the house that was it. At the time we had two dachshunds. We didn’t really need another dog. However, she is a joy. Calm, loving and peaceful. She knows when I am stressed and will come to bond with me putting her head on my knee.

Shortly after we got Tillie we lost first one doxy and then another. We decided to adopt another basset to keep Tillie company. We ended up with Crash.

tillie (2)
Tillie in her usual half asleep mode

Crash was so named by his foster family after he was found by a basset rescue agency. They felt he had been hit by a car. He was emaciated, covered with fleas and ticks and had a broken pelvis. When we got him he had been treated extensively by a vet. He was better but still thin.

Crash was definitely the right name for him. He crashed into our house and life has not been the same. He has relieved me of at least six pairs of shoes until I learned to put them away properly. It was his job to take this task in hand. He succeeded. He is terrified of thunder storms and cowers by our feet. He hates for us to leave home and howls the basset howl for the neighbors to hear. While we are away he pulls towels down from the racks, rearranges all loose rugs, pulls out any laundry left on the floor of the laundry room and removes it to other places in the house.

Nothing is harmed, nothing is chewed….just moved. Crash is joy personified.

Pets are wonderful things. Whether you love dogs, cats or some other pet they bring joy to your life. They improve our health. Their love is an example to us of how God expects us to love. If you have pets I hope that they bring you as much joy as mine do.