Remember when you were little and you thought everyone was trustworthy? Then you became an adult and decided that life is easier (although not better) alone? Most would say that all the heartbreak we experience from relationships as we grow up is nature’s way of teaching us how not to get hurt. Call me crazy but I think it causes people to forget how to really love someone.
I’ve met so many single mothers, women and men who have committed to a life of singleness, shunning away any chance at love because they’ve been hurt so many times that they have come to believe that the good things about love aren’t worth the risk. I’ve been pretty close to throwing my hands up and surrendering on more than one occasion since my divorce.
Lucky for me, I’ve learned a lot about love from my children. No, my children aren’t in love like they’ve found their soul mate or anything but by paying close attention to my children, I’ve found there’s a lot that I’ve forgotten along my journey to becoming an adult. Thanks to them, I realized I had forgotten that to really fall in love, you have to have blind faith and a fearless heart. Here’s what I mean…
Children aren’t afraid to trust someone.
No one likes to be vulnerable but when you expect everyone to prove their trustworthiness before you give them an ounce of trust, you’re setting them up for failure. Children don’t even know what the word vulnerable means or that there are consequences for trusting the wrong people. I’m not saying you should go give your social security number to the next guy that comes along asking for a date but don’t automatically assume that he’s going to hurt you if you let down your guard. Follow your instincts and if you feel good about him, then trust him.
Children aren’t afraid to ask questions.
We are taught to not show our true feelings out of fear of rejection and so we keep them to ourselves. Children on the other hand will ask a question as soon as their curious little brain can think of one. If they are worried that someone doesn’t like them or that someone is sad, they’ll ask. The lesson to take from this is if you want to know how someone feels about you, ask them! Don’t let the fear of rejection stand in your way. You can’t truly know how someone feels unless you ask them.
Children aren’t afraid to tell you what they want. Whether it’s a much needed hug or a much wanted giant and brightly colored sucker, kids will tell you exactly what they want. Their needs and wants are much simpler than ours perhaps because they don’t sit there and reason with all the pros and cons of asking for what they want. They don’t wonder if getting that sucker or that hug is worth putting themselves out there to be vulnerable, they just go for it without regret. So if you want something from your partner, tell him. Men aren’t exactly the best mind readers and often they get frustrated with trying to figure out what we really want. It’s good to put your desires out there for him to see clearly and when he gives you what you want and need, be sure to thank him in your own way.
Children aren’t afraid to give without reason.
You know all those times that your child surprised you with something like a picture or a pretty weed (to them it’s a beautiful flower) just because they like to see how they can cause you to light up with happiness? They don’t even need you to give them a reason to do something nice for you. Children aren’t afraid to give of themselves to make others happy. As adults, too often we expect to be given a reason to do something for someone. It’s a game of balance between giving and receiving in relationships. What if you threw out the receiving part and just gave? What if you truly care about someone so much that giving to make them happy is more important than figuring out why they deserve it? Maybe you could realize that you are able to love unconditionally and that “someone” could realize just how lucky they are. And if they don’t, then you can let your corrupted adult brain kick in and set them free.
Children aren’t afraid to forgive.
What happens when your child gets into a fight with their friend? It lasts for all of what, an hour at the most? Children forgive and move on so much quicker than we do. Why? Not because they realize that we all make mistakes and have the capacity to learn and not repeat our mistakes but because they hold onto the good things about their relationships with others so much so that the occasional bad things don’t matter enough to not forgive. If you are with someone that you really love, then let the good things such as why they make you happy be your main focus. Forgive their occasional mishaps even if you’re not sure that they won’t do it again. Because if you really love someone you need to see that it’s not about them being your perfect match but about accepting and loving them even when they make mistakes. No one is perfect so if they are worth it, don’t be afraid to forgive.
Children have simple hearts.
As a child, our lives are so simple. If we want something, we ask. If we are hurt, we cry. If we love someone, we let them know fully and with no regret. Children don’t sit around and dwell on the negative “what if’s” and the consequences of being vulnerable. They follow their hearts and not their minds.
When you fall in love, your heart may know it before your mind so just go with it. Trust your instincts and don’t rely on logic. Simply put, if you want to be with them then don’t hold back, be vulnerable and don’t be afraid to give all of yourself to them.