July 22, 2013

Gratitude, Expressing Feelings, and Mom.

This was written about a month ago, when I was still in living in my cubicle.

One of the many changes that I'm trying to make as a part of this crazy journey I'm on is to be more expressive and giving of love and gratitude towards the people I care about in my life.

As men, we're discouraged from doing this and we're not even really taught how to do it, so the first step for me has been to simply give myself permission to really express how I feel towards others.

In my family, there is an unspoken bond of love. I know it's there, but it was never really expressed in an open sort of way. As a result, I never really learned how to do this... And so I've been teaching myself. There has been lots of #Fail, let me tell you! But that's how I've been learning.

People are constantly telling me how they admire what I'm doing and the courage they believe I have to make the choices I've made - buying my car, farming, and trying to change my life. And recently, when someone said this to me, I felt my heart just expand with gratitude towards my parents.

My parents worked really hard to come here to Canada and build a life and family. They never got to have a period of unbridled, liberating, carefree fun. Their hard work and sacrifice are a large part of the reason that I am in a position today to actually make conscious choices in my life of how I want to live.

It sometimes saddens me that my parents never got to experience a period of absolute carefree fun... I believe every spirit deserves this - no, wait - that every spirit actually needs this.

So while I go off on my adventures and face the open road of life, I do this not only for me, but also for my parents. I hope that my doing this will, in a small way, karmically give my parents what they were never able to experience or give to themselves. 

I will forever be grateful to the blessed start they gave me in life.

I just called my mom at work to read her what I wrote above... And this 6'3" bearded brown guy who can take apart a car interior and wants to race cars turned into an absolute blubbering suck on the phone. I couldn't actually get through the whole thing, and my mom had to get back to work because she was starting to cry, too. Yes, waterworks everywhere!

Before she hastily got off the phone (out of necessity), she said, "I love you." And I think it was the first time I'd heard her express it to me in a from-the-heart sort of way... Those three words, without the weight of any other expectations.

I've spent so many years in a stalemate of sorts with my parents, and recently we've reconciled. I initiated it, and it felt right.

I'm glad we reconciled, but I'm also glad we had our time apart. I think the loss of each other was necessary to be able to really appreciate each other.  I feel a genuine deep gratitude and love for my parents combined with a deep respect for them and all they have done.

So... Take some time, write up a list of things you're grateful to your parents for, call them up, and read it to them.

You too can turn into a blubbering mess on the phone if you act now!