I watched this movie the other day, recommended by a person I dearly respect, collateral beauty. Highly recommended by the way. But a word struck me. Edward Norton tried to explain his love for his daughter and said, “I realized I wasn’t feeling love, I had become love.” Exactly, parents are love, they shape the way their children experience love, because they become the definition of love in their eyes.
When you have children, you don’t just understand love, don’t just feel it, and don’t believe it exists; you become LOVE. The only meaning of love your babies know, the only way your child knows how to understand it and accept it.
You, as love, shape the way they later extend or welcome love in their lives. If you show anger, shame, pride … etc, that becomes part of their definition of love. If you show extra attention or don’t give them enough, they become needy in love. They way you punish them, mild be it or harsh, sculpt their reaction of love.
All their future relationships are affected by what you show them from the day they were born. Your relationship with their other parent, his/her connection with you… They learn, not just from words or slogans, but also, from who you are.
As a parent, who the hell am I to teach love?! I am staying in an abusive relationship, so damn intimidated to get out. Have done absolutely nothing worthwhile with my life. Yes I love them to bits, but I am not worth teaching love!
As a daughter, what on earth have my parents done to define love for me? What have they done to make me so codependent and weak and pride-less? Did they ever see this coming? Is this what they intended to do? Is this who they wanted me to be?
Anyways, this is my truth and it scares me as a mother and it pisses me off as a daughter.