What do I want for the new year? I've been asking myself that for several days. I spent this week up in San Francisco with my friend Jenn, who just had her second baby. I had time to think about our history as friends, how similar we are, how much of our past we share, and yet how different our paths are now. Mostly in motherhood. I am facing children moving out of my nest. Her little chicks are just joining the nest. As I held her sweet newborn son in the dark living room last night, his little body snuggled against my chest, and my face against his silky hair, I thought back to how many hours I have spent holding my own babies. How precious and sacred and fleeting that time is! Most of my children now have bodies that have grown much too big and cumbersome for my lap, and I spend my time and energy instead, trying to hold on to them spiritually and emotionally. 2010 brought challenges in that arena, challenges I really never saw coming. I will have more to face in 2011, and part of me feels scared to face what I do not want to face, but what is best. That's the thing about motherhood. It requires the most painful sacrifices, right from the outset. And giving birth is nothing.
So back to what I want for the coming year. It will be an ongoing goal, I'm sure, and probably has been somewhere in my mind, but I feel it pressing upon me with urgency that I must learn, and do!
I want a heart broken open with love. That's what I want.
It's terrifying to put that in words, because I know something of what is required to earn such a quality. Some virtues are forged in fire, and love is one of them, but I have to walk through the fire anyway, so I want to come out blazing with love. The kind of love that the Savior offers to me. The kind of love that I've noticed so profoundly in others lately, that I don't yet have--at least not consistently. I want the love that sees the soul, that treasures the soul, that believes in the soul. The kind of love that sees right past the person, human and flawed.
The kind of love that says, "yes". The kind of love that says, "I forgive you." The kind of love that says, "You first. You always."
My therapist has been teaching me that in order to claim that kind of love, I first have to believe that I am worthy of it myself, and that all flaws in the way I love others are attributed to flaws in the way I feel loved by God. When I realize how completely and infinitely and unconditionally I am loved by Him, I can begin to give that to others. In fact, he says, I won't be able to help it.
So that's my goal. To be cracked open. No, not cracked, busted open. Bursting open, pouring forth love.
The way that He is.