Monday, June 13, 2011

Leave it for the night Crew

I am home after spending another night at the in-laws.   They are sleeping through the night now and have for the past several nights.  I think that it will be okay for us to get back to our lives momentarily and spend the night together in our own bed.  I am sorely missing our snuggle time. 

I haven't written much about my mother-in-law here.  We have had an uneasy relationship over the years. She has been a force to be reckoned with.  I can't say that I have truly felt at ease around her, although I have tried to force that feeling.  I realized this morning that I have never heard her tell another person that she loved them.  Yet, she did say that to me the other night.  I don't know what holds a person back from telling those who are the closest to them the magic words:  I love you.

Isn't that what we are all hoping to hear and feel?  Love is really such a basic need.  It lightens our hearts and our steps.  It can make us float above the mundane.  It means that someone will be there for me, has my back and that I am willing to reciprocate.  I don't think that I could survive for long without expressing love.

Some people are able to freely express themselves and have the ability to open their heart and soul to others.  I have learned through Al-Anon to do more of that than I did in the past.  I believe that I used to choose with care those with whom I was open.   In this fellowship, it is amazing what sharing around a table will do.  I have learned about humility and pushing down the ego.  I have heard grown men and women weep and lay their pain out there.  I have done the same.  And I have seen what a miracle it is to see the smiles come and resentments go.  There are plenty of times that fear still comes up--fear of not being enough, of not doing enough.  That is part of my human condition, yet I know that fear doesn't have to be my default position anymore.

I realize that learning to express love takes saying the words, feeling the feelings, and taking action.  I am going to do all those things today.  Tonight is my home group meeting which I am sorely needing.  Then, I am coming home and leaving the rest of the evening to the night Crew, trusting that someone other than me will be able to take care of things for a few hours. 


  1. best wishes on doing that today...i think sometimes it is harder for us guys to do it as well...not an excuse but a realization...

  2. I am having anxiety today and trying very hard to stay focused on the here and now but my tendency is to fly away in my mind, leave my body behind when I feel like this.
    But Owen is here and so I can't afford much of such behavior and I just saw a very old friend at the post office and I told her I loved her.
    Doing my best, Syd. Thanks for helping, even though you weren't aware you were.

  3. good. I'm glad you heard the words. I, too, wonder why those are difficult words for some to say. Both my father and mother have a hard time saying "I love you" to me. I talk to them on the phone every day. At the end of each conversation I say "I love you, bye." and it is rarely returned. I know they love, they just cannot speak it.

  4. Expressing love requires saying the words, feeling the feelings and taking action. I like the affirmation I find in that and the simplicity of it. Applied to my marital situation, each point conjures difficulty but with your points the difficulties overall are simplified. Reading that we are all hoping to hear and feel love is also affirming and so beautifully simple, too. In my sort of survival mode I can see I've been disconnected from such basics. Oops, and now I'm feeling the risk, actually the pain, of connecting to them. I want to end this on a positive note, maybe a to-do for myself like you did with your post. I think what I'll do is let this grief run its course unaccompanied by thoughts or questions.

  5. Your mother-in-law has great taste. I love you, too. But you know that. Glad you will be getting to sleep in your own bed with C. again soon.


  6. your blog is one of the bext examples of love on the internet, Syd. You have always supported my blog and shared comments which has lifted me and encouraged me to move forward and for that, I say....

    I love you. :)


  7. It is good indeed, to be able to adequately express ourselves, even when it means sometimes laying ourselves open to pain and disappointment.

    You're a good man to be helping to take care of your parents-in-law Syd. This sort of service is what we're here for, I believe!

  8. Love is an action, not just a feeling.

  9. My mother has never told me or my brother that she loves us. I think it may be a generational think and social strata. I also think it is that hereditary self centredness, self conscious thing. The same things I suffer from. When I grew up and left home I made it a point to tell my children how much I loved them. I say it to My Beautiful all the time.

  10. I think that some people have a hard time expressing love because they weren't shown how. They may have fear or feelings of unworthiness...God is so merciful to give us our spiritual programs like Al-Anon to help us learn how to parent ourselves & feel that unconditional love & acceptance...& now you are paying it forward to your mom in law..she is lucky to have you! My post today relates to this topic.....
    Take care & God bless you & C :)

  11. the words that are there, dying to be spoken, yet unable to verbalise... damn, do i know that feeling...

  12. "learning to express love takes saying the words, feeling the feelings, and taking action."

    Thanks for that! Brilliant reflection today!

  13. Not sayin' I always LIVE this quote, but I sure do like it :).

    Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

    Victor Hugo

    Thanks for your blog! Muoy appreciated.

  14. For your MIL to break her barriers and tell you that she loves you is cause for rejoicing.

    For four years my newly sober husband said, "I love you, Pop," to his elderly father, who had immigrated alone to the States at 13 to become self-supporting, and who never replied. My husband didn't give up, because his sponsor reminded him that his declaration of love for his father was a GIFT deliberately given in sobriety, and gifts are not gifts if reciprocity is required. If reciprocity is required, you now have a sales transaction.

    In the end, my husband's father said, "I love you too, son" ~ a gift to his son that continues to give though his father is long dead.

    My sponsor says it doesn't matter WHY. It matters THAT. For my character's sake, it matters that I speak the love I feel. Speaking love to each other, that's not a transaction. I have to hear myself saying this because my much-beloved older brother no longer says he loves me since early-onset Alzheimer's has turned him against me. It breaks my heart. Sometimes I retaliate in our phone conversations by not speaking love to him. I did that this week, and now I'm ashamed of myself. Thank you for the reminder: It doesn't WHY he can't say he loves me anymore; it matters THAT I love him and I tell him so.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.