“The things you do for love” became a family phrase in the fall of 2009 when my son’s mental illness began to emerge. He was in college in Vermont and my maternal instinct told me to go get him. I drove 5 hours north, picked him up and drove 5 hours back so he could spend the weekend at home.
The next day we went to see his sister. When she commented on the herculean effort of a 20 hour drive for a short weekend, my son said without missing a beat,
“Yea. The things you do for love”.
Since then any time any one of us feels stretched to do the impossible, the phrase “the things you do for love” pops out. It’s a reminder that when we love something, the stretch it causes is worth it.
My son’s schizophrenia became fully apparent later that spring. He’s been in a hospital an hour away from where I live for a few years now. My visits to him, with travel time spent, take up 5 hours. It is like a part time job.
There are times when I don’t “feel” like going because I am too busy.
But here’s the deal. I never regret the effort I make.
Who I hold myself to be is a woman who goes the extra mile for those I love. His well-being means everything to me and I know that my love and caring have made a difference in my son’s healing.
When I stretch myself, I live into my best self and I feel better.
I make it work. I stay with my commitment.
It’s January and most people begin the New Year with new intentions and then after about two weeks those intentions get challenged. We don’t have enough time or our resolve wanes.
If this is happening to you, try writing down WHY you have made your commitment.
Why is it important to you? Do you want to lose weight for your health? For a wedding? Are you looking for a new job so you can have more money for a holiday, a new car, or something for your child?
Connect to the bigger reason, the emotional reason, why it is important to you and that will help you stay committed.
Seeing the appreciation and joy on my son’s face immediately erases my grumblings.
What is the stretch you are going for?
Why do you want it?
Who do you need to be to get it?
Commit to the love of something and you will have a better chance pushing through the moments of resistance that will inevitably come up.
Your better self is waiting for you on the other side of your stretch. So is self-esteem and confidence.