Friday, February 18, 2011

Little Things: Love and Hate

                Perfectionism is a topic that I think of often when considering my faith life.  I have also written about it a time or two.  If I believe humans will never be perfect, why do I continue to strive so hard to do well and confess when I don’t?  At this last week’s Mass, Father put some perspective on the thought.  With this past week hosting Valentine’s Day and my wedding anniversary, the message he gave me hit so many areas.
                We should never look past the little things we do.  In the areas of love, whether it is the love of our spouse, family and friends, we need to keep the love alive with the small gestures.  I must admit that I am not always good at this, but I work on it.  Lately, I found out my tall husband doesn’t like the covers at the foot of the bed tucked in when he goes to sleep.  I love the tight military tuck.  Now when I make the bed, I tuck in my side and leave his loose.  My middle child loves homemade strawberry freezer jam.  The other night I made him a batch.  By doing little things for your relationships, the love continues to grow.  Little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness will keep the love strong and growing much more then the big things that happen every now and then.  This is a way of getting our relationships closer to “perfection”.  Our thoughtfulness also helps us along our journey to holiness.  What about the little annoyances in our life?
                Like doing small thoughtful things to build on the bigger emotion of love, the little negatives we have in life can grow to the bigger emotions like hatred.  After twenty-two years of marriage, I think it is safe to say I am pretty knowledgeable in the area of a long term relationship.  It hasn’t always been a picnic.  For a year or two, I really struggled with some changes that had taken place.  Much of the time I only saw the irritating behaviors.  He did this wrong.  He forgot about this.  He has a bad attitude.  I could have easily only concentrated in these little things that were making me angry, lonely, and a host of other emotions.  We would not be married today if I had done that.  Instead, I took these negative and less than perfect thoughts to God.  I confessed my anger.  As penance, for each negative I thought about my husband, I would remind myself of the positives he also displayed.  I still have an occasional negative thought, but I can’t imagine not spending the next twenty-two years and many more with this dear man. 
                Though we will never be perfect, the act of striving for it makes us better and stronger people.  By striving to do positive little things, we create a bond with people that will grow.  By working on the little transgressions in our life, we keep the dark emotions at bay saving relationships.  When it comes down to the end, we will be remembered by the little things we work on and do.  I hope you have had a good week.  If not, sit in quiet reflection.  What can you do to strengthen a relationship in a small way?  How can you replace that negative thought with a positive thought?  It isn’t easy, but it is most definitely worthwhile.
                Blessings to you all.