When I Love You v2.0

001 ryan bdayTomorrow marks my son’s 14th birthday. He has been my greatest teacher. I wonder all these moments who was teaching whom. He brought me curiosity, creativity, wonder, discipline, courage, and the longing for more of life.

Both my kids were paramount reasons for ending the ‘chaos of drinking’. But being my best me was what inevitably produced long term sobriety. The bottom line: I wanted to be a better person … and I still do.

Thank you to those who walk before (and beside) me, you teach me to be a woman I love—a mom I love. I could never be this woman without you. I would have felt too guilty about my drinking, too guilty about my past, and too guilty about the fact that I was even alive.

This post is from December 2012 during one of my trying times with my son.

I don’t give you everything you want so you can be more comfortable. Being comfortable is not the meaning or purpose of life.

I don’t do everything for you because you lovingly ask it of me. Giving you everything (you think) you want fortifies your idea that you cannot accomplish tasks on your own.

I don’t say “yes” to your request to ease your pain. Pain is the catalyst for change. You grow into a more compassionate and sincere person when you experience it rather than divert it.

I don’t lie for you. When I lie for you, I teach you that lying is an acceptable tool for coping and communication. It is neither. It is a destroyer to self. I teach you that the truth is enough.

I listen even if I do not want to hear it. I listen because you need to say it so that you can heal. I listen without judgment so that I can heal.

I lovingly withhold information from you. It is not that I do not want to tell you. It is that telling you will serve no greater purpose. 

I walk away. Sometimes the best for both of us is silence. I walk away because more words morphs into more issues. My walking is all I can do to break the cycle.

I make time for you. I don’t do it because it is always easy or convenient. I do it because that is how I express that you matter to me.

I don’t buy you everything you ask for. It has nothing to do with being deserved or being good or being enough.  I don’t buy it because it is teaching you that material possessions are the path to happiness. You are too young to comprehend this notion and I am wise enough to not let your out-bursts sway me.

I want everything wonderful for you. And the way I give you wonderful is by not giving in. I love you so much that I am willing to let you find your way.

I am willing to let you feel discomfort, pain, longing, truth, silence, separation, and inconvenience—all in the name of love.


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13 Responses to “When I Love You v2.0

  • Beautifully stated. I can learn from this, Lisa. I sometimes take the “easy” (for now) route and collapse into doing something that would soothe the moment, instead of teaching a greater lesson. My convenience trumps teaching moment at times. And I hope that I don’t get into lazy habits, at the cost of my boys’ learning.

    This comes at the perfect moment, as I am struggling with my boys and wife, in terms of my place in the family. I feel invisible at times (like today) and I know that it’s because I do capitulate instead of stand my ground at times, and hence they both go to my wife for almost everything, good and bad. Except food and rough housing…then it’s me…ha ha. So these are trying times for me, but there is a lesson in there somewhere. I just haven’t found it yet 🙂

    I wish your son a most wonderful birthday, and I am sure he’s growing into a wonderful young man. He’s got a wise and present mother to guide him (and I am sure dad is great too)

    Have a great day Lisa, and thank you for this. I think I will gain more and more from this list. This might just be the proverbial “print off and keep” type post.


    • Paul,
      There are so many lessons I’ve yet to find. (I like to think of them as beautifully wrapped boxes awaiting my opening. Because if I do not they present themselves as shit I have ‘accidentally’ stepped into.) Nevertheless, I relate to your comment. Finding my ‘place’ within the family unit has been challenging. Setting up the boundary of who I choose to be requires that I first identify my principles. Once I set them I try and live by them. The funny thing is … the kids keep changing, and this, this forces me to dig deeper into self inquiry. All I know is that I never want to stop defining me. Because the more I face the places I play small, the stronger I become in giving love.
      Blessings back, Lisa

      • Thank you Lisa – I think that whole thing about Principles is something that I need to look at. I think you’re right in having them defined strongly, so that I have a base to work from. Doesn’t help that the kids change…it’s like a moving target!

        Playing small has always been one of my greatest challenges – even in recovery 🙂

        Have a beautiful Sunday


  • This is a print-it-out-and-hang-it-on-my-wall kind of post. There is so much wisdom in this and I struggle with just about everything on the list. I struggle but I do it anyway because my kids are that important. Happy birthday to your son!

    • Karen, So nice to see you. Thank you for the kind words. How are you? I think of you often and pray that your journey is bringing you closer to peace with each new day. My love, Lisa

  • Wish I could hit “like” multiple times for this one.

  • Love this Lisa! Even though my kids are younger, I so appreciate this. Beautiful life lessons.

    • C., thank you. I think I get sentimental around birthdays. Time is moving forward and I appreciate my sobriety a little more each day as I watch them grow. It is nice to watch us all grow into more. I try and remember that growth is not only for the young. My love, Lisa

  • Great wisdom lady! Thank you for sharing this with us again.

    • A big hug your way. Funny about digging up an old post. It takes you right back to the old feeling and you get a moment to reflect and see/feel the growth within. Loving the journey because it’s happening with or without my permission. with love, Lisa

  • bill33034@gmail.com
    10 years ago

    My dear girl I miss you terribly I must come and see you soon

    Sent from my iPhone


  • bill33034@gmail.com
    10 years ago

    Tried to email you but it bounced back call me tomorrow and we can set up a hair appt Purple has got to go love ya b

    Sent from my iPhone


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