Laura Sandefer

June 22, 2019

Some things are hard to love.

Jesus said it’s not remarkable to love the love-able. Anyone can do that. Then he said his most radical statement: “Love your enemy.”

Few of us get there. But his words remind me it is possible to grow love where there was none and practice it even when it doesn’t come easily or naturally.

I cling to this idea the most in terms of supporting my children on their learning journeys. Otherwise I’m easily seduced by the siren call of easing their lives in the name of love – the deathtrap of believing their enemies are frustration, failure and problems.

Because it’s summer, I feel ready to fall in love with the hard stuff once again. Maybe the longer days loosen the boundaries of my heart. Or maybe the less complicated schedule eases my hold on my children’s lives. It could just be the peaches.

Whatever it is, summer is when I have more soul space to grow hard loves. So I’m going to try once again to sow the harvest I’ll need in the dead of tightly-wound fall and winter living when the “school” stress thickens. (Especially since we are entering the college application adventure.)

I hope you, too, can ponder and grow to love these three things.

  1. Fall in love with the process.

  2. Fall in love with the struggle.

  3. Fall in love with the challenge.

All three are pretty unloveable – even the enemy – on certain days in terms of parenting. But when I release my need for control, recognize blips and failures as nuggets of gold, and step back from nitpicking my children’s lives, I am more loving. I am more free. And therefore, I am a better mom.

Hopefully by September I’ll remember: learning is a lifelong process, struggle is what makes it stick and the comfort zone kills you, slowly but surely.

This 10 minutes with anthropologist Dorsa Amir will feed you well for growing new love for the hard stuff of parenting. I hope you reap the benefits.

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