I was doing my daughter’s hair on a weekend morning and like usual, this includes being serenaded by my IPod playlist titled, “My Favs” – one my children have no option but to be exposed on a highly consistent basis. I went through the process of making my daughter’s hair to her specification; most 8-year-olds still want to feel like a princess, although they will completely deny it at this age.
As we stood there in the mirror, me performing my hair dresser duties and my daughter searching through my make-up bag the song What Love Really Means, began to play. Without hesitation we both started to sing. As my little lady sang the words, “Who will love for me, not for what I have or what I will become,” the message became eerily haunting with this pronunciation coming from a sweet young angelic voice of my child.
Here was my daughter who I knew I loved so much I would give my own life to protect hers, and I couldn’t imagine someone not loving her. Someone not seeing her as I did, someone not respecting her, and hoping that every day I showed her as the song is titled, what love really means.
Everyone whether they are 8 or 80-years-old seeks to be loved for who they truly are. It is human-nature to want to be accepted, nurtured and loved. As Mother Teresa so rightfully stated, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” Research shows that in orphanages, children suffer and even die from what is called failure to thrive, the number one cause being simply the lack of touch, stimulation and love.
Whether it is by a spouse, a family member, or friends love is something every soul on this Earth seeks to obtain. Often times I believe we seek it so much; we are willing to accept illusions of it and provide ourselves rationale to the justification.
I learned this recently from being back in the nightmare of the dating scene, this time in the mid-single stage where we all bring baggage and issues to bear. I accepted a date with an individual that I soon learned was very disrespectful to women, yet I put up with his behavior longer than necessary. It was only after a particular bad exchange through a text where the suitor demanded what I wear on our first date that I stopped.
I received this text as I was going through the nightly routine of getting my children ready for bed. As they ran around; one brushing her teeth, the other helping her brother put the books away we had just read, I realized something profound. I would never want my daughters to be talked to/treated that way by a man, nor would I want my son to treat a woman that way – why was it okay for me?
It was such a simple answer, yet one I failed to recognize. The date was cancelled and I have discovered a new gate that I will use in any future courtship. I will never be with someone who would not treat me with the same respect and admiration I expect for my children.
As the song continued, I looked at our reflection in the mirror and thought back to a year ago, when because of the same small voice of my daughter, I first started this blog –a time when the turmoil I was experiencing first drove me to my keyboard. It has been nearly a year and a half since I started this journey of separation, divorce and transitioning to a single-parent household.
In comparison to my world then, my life is so different in a positive way. Although there are still bumps along the road in my journey, I am happy and at peace with my new life. I have started to heal, to forgive not only others, but myself as well. And as this song communicates, I know that there are at least three little hearts and God that love me for me.