I have reached a point in my life, when faced with a difficult situation or person, where I ask myself; What would love do? Sometimes I become reactive before asking that question but eventually, with some time and distance, I do return to it.
Raising 4 children on my own was trying and exquisite. it was trying because there were (many) times I felt uncertain of my own reactions and terrified for the safety and welfare of my children, to say nothing of needing to be in more than one place at the same time. It was (and is) exquisite because it seems that everything we went through, worked to pull us closer still. We talked a lot, slammed doors, screamed at one another, and hugged tightly. I did not do everything right as a parent (the thought itself is close to absurd) nor did they do everything right as kids (this thought is more absurd still), but underneath the fears and the yelling, was the distinct sentiment of caring. I was/am devoted to all of my adult children, (and they to me) and we all knew this somewhere in our beings, even if that was, at times, very deeply buried.
We learned to speak to one another in ways that could be heard, we set boundaries for ourselves and each other and we worked to understand what behaviors did not work to support our family. A powerful desire to make this family cohesive exceeded the obstacles we faced to the contrary. And the good news is, it worked. Even we, at times, are shocked at our success. The statistics were not in our favor. And honestly, I believe that the cheesy, perhaps naive, even preposterous, but true difference, was love.
The main ingredient – without it you starve.