I tell myself I am doing a good job taking care of that which needs to be taken care of
My wife went into hospital for an operation on Friday. I drove her there for midday and since that time I was focussed on doing all that needed to be done: collecting the children from school, shopping, cooking, driving them to their after school clubs, visiting my wife, bringing her home……
By Saturday morning my wife was home. She was lying on the sofa bed with all her stuff so that she could sleep, take her medicine, read, watch French tv – our daughter took care of all that. I knew I would not be sleeping on Saturday night (as I was committed to being awake at 3am to take my son to the airport) so I took the opportunity to have an afternoon nap. I got up and got busy figuring out what to cook and then cooking. Once that was done I served the food, ate and then cleared up. At this point I was feeling rather good about myself. I had done all the things that needed to be done: drive my wife to the hospital, find missing details needed for her operation, collect the children from their schools, cook, visit my wife in the evening, pick her up the next day, ensure she had what she needed, let her be as she was in pain and tired, ask her if she wanted tea/coffee etc, cook…..
My wife asks “Where is the love?”
So imagine my surprise when my wife told me (about 10pm on Saturday night) that she did not feel loved by me. When she explained I got it: I had been so wrapped up in planning for and taking care of the stuff that needed to be done that I had not been loving towards her. As she said, she’d have preferred it if I had gone over and stroked her hair / touched her face with kindness instead of fretting over cooking the right meal and taking care of the details.
Am I too busy ‘fixing, surviving, getting ahead’ to put love into the game of life?
The penny dropped. I am busy taking care of the stuff that occurs as ‘essential to surviving’. You are busy taking care of the stuff that occurs to you as ‘essential for living’. We are busy taking care of the ‘essentials for survival’. And being wrapped up in that we are not present to, mindful of the fact that LOVE (being loving, feeling loved) is also essential for survival. How would life show up if I knew, you knew, we knew that for the rest of our lives no love would show up in our living? Would we want to live that kind of life? Yet here are many of us doing exactly that: so busy going through the motions of living and not really present to the quality of being that puts a smile on our face, a song in our speaking and joy in our living.
Does Rebecca Ferguson sees the truth of the human situation?
Rebecca Ferguson in her first album Heaven starts off the album singing a beautiful song called ‘Nothing’s real but love. It occurs to me that she understands the truth of the human situation at the deepest level. Here are some of the lyrics:
“Nothing’s real but love
No money, no house and no car can beat love….
Nothing’s real but love
No house, no car and no job can beat love……
It won’t fill you up
No money, no house, no car is like love……
No money, no house and no car is like love
It don’t fill you up,
It won’t build you up, it won’t fill you up,
It’s not love
And nothing’s real without love,
No money, no house and no car is like love,
Nothing’s real but love
No money, no house, no car, is like love “