Search for more Everyday Power
When I was a child I was terrified by my grandmother. She always seemed angry. But angry is an understatement. She seemed to be able to find any flaw in you that you didn’t want anybody to see and poke at it repeatedly. There is no doubt that she had become bitter. She had worked since she was young and even owned her own beauty salon for a season. But love had not worked out for her. At the time I did not understand that she was just completing a divorce from her third husband.
How true love can change your life
None of the men had treated her right and she was fuming over that. In some ways she was like a wounded animal that will fight anyone even if they are trying to help them. On one occasion I was in the car and my mom decided that we should stop in to see her. I was trapped and could not figure out how in the world I could get out of this predicament. In my nine year old head I felt like I was being taken to be sacrificed to some monster that was ready to devour all children.
When we pulled into grandma’s driveway my mom got out and walked to the house expecting me to go with her. I refused. Sitting there I didn’t know what to do. I could stay in the car and maybe get some sort of punishment later or I could go in and be eaten. I chose to sit.
This visit turned out to go long and soon I knew that I would be dragged in if I stayed that close to the front door. My brilliant mind conceived a daring plan. Slowly, I would open up the door and slide out, closing the door as quietly as I could. From there I would stay as unseen as I could and listen to see if anyone would notice that I had gotten out of the car. When I knew that it was safe I would run as fast as I could back to my house and await the consequences. I pulled it off too.
Getting home the one flaw in my plan was that the house was locked and I was too young to have my own key. No matter, I waited things out on our jungle gym in the backyard. Worst than any punishment, my mom sent my beloved Aunt Lisa to me. She listened to my imagined horror story. In hind sight she most likely needed to hold back laughter. But she listened carefully to my fears. Then she asked me if I loved my grandma.
Even though things had recently been tough, she had picked me up from school over the years and helped me in multiple ways to find purpose and fun in my life. She loved to laugh and maybe I missed that a bit. Suddenly I began to feel guilty and ashamed of my fear. My aunt drove me back to grandma’s house and took me inside. My aunt had reminded me of love and that had changed that situation and a relationship that was doomed without love to intervene.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe and when used in truth and integrity it can change your life and of those that are coming after us in the next generation. Here is how.
Love gives you joy
It was only about three years later when my grandma met an incredible man that loved her deeply. They had been high school sweethearts but had grown apart. This man knew how to treat her, after just a few dates she was a new woman. Suddenly she wanted to make pies and go out with all of us on grand adventures. She told stories that were fun and exciting. When they got married the whole family rejoiced. As of the writing of this blog they have been married for over thirty years. How is it possible that any relationship can get to thirty years when it is a fourth marriage? That is amazing. Even more amazing is the change in my grandma. She has become generous and fun and shares with all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren extravagantly. Love has changed her entire world. She used to live in a small dumpy house. Today she lives in a nice house in a good neighborhood. Back in the days before her marriage she hated to drive but when she did she drove a car that was always on its last legs. Today she enjoys the freedom her minivan gives her. Love gave her joy.
Love gives you significance
One of our primary needs is a need for significance. A person who has had multiple last names struggles with their identity. In those dark days she did not even know who she was. She would often question herself wondering what was wrong with her that she would keep finding men that would treat her so poorly. When love came into her life though, she received a name. This name was new and fresh for her. It gave her a fresh start and a new lease on life. Miraculously, she changed seemingly overnight into the grandma that I had always wanted. No longer was she a subject of fear. Her new husband taught her how to laugh at every little piece of gossip or negativity in the world. He taught her how to think for herself and how to live a solid life. Love gave her significance.
Love makes you get out of your own mind
In the dark days of her anguish my grandma spent her days working with a whole host of negative people. When work was over she would go home where she would either see my uncle who was always in trouble of some kind or she would be alone. That environment makes it tough to get out of your own negative spin. Gossip around the family, memories of failure all swim around inside of your head. When she got married suddenly love gave her and excuses exploring the more positive side of life. It started with one positive thought. Something as simple as, “He loves me and treats me well,” were enough to catapult her toward growing successful thinking. Her little house began to get clean, her cooking became great and she began pointing out the positive things that she saw in all of us. Love helped her get out of her own mind.
Love teaches you to be selfless
Early in their marriage somebody threw a bag of cats onto her porch. It was just a few. But they captured her heart. Soon she was the neighborhood cat lady and gathered over seventeen cats. She knew the names and personalities of every one of those cats. Without much thought she could tell you which ones like what food and how they came to be living in her home. Amazingly this once lonely woman now shared her love with anyone and every creature. Eventually she added birds and fish to the mix and worked diligently to teach them to love one another. Love taught her to be selfless.
Love has the ultimate power to change us. Movies portray this in wild and diverse ways. Real life even more so inspires us to chase after wild dreams where love is giving us joy, significance, freedom and connection. He who finds love finds a good thing.