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1891 - President Benjamin Harrison stops at Saugus Depot, dines at Tolfree's Saugus Eating House [story]


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

JenniferFischerSometimes it’s hard to love people, even people we want to love. They push us away as they work through their own struggles and issues.

They push all of our buttons because they can and because they take our love for granted – which they should be able to do as our loved one, particularly our little loved ones; think toddler children.

They criticize us and don’t always accept us for who we are, despite our acceptance of them. They get angry. They make mistakes. They forget important events or dates. They get caught in their own dramas. They say things we wish they wouldn’t. They make it hard.

Sometimes it gets so hard, we wonder if we can keep going. We wonder how we’ll handle one more temper tantrum or one more unkind word from a relative or friend who might be struggling with loss or pain.

But that’s exactly when it’s time to dig deep and renew our strength, our patience, our capacity for compassion.

It’s also a good time to remind ourselves that sometimes we are not loveable. We push away our loved ones. We push their buttons. We take our loved ones for granted – or criticize them, openly or in our own minds, which can still poison our relationship.

We get angry. We make mistakes. We forget things that matter. We are selfish. We say things that we immediately wish we could take back. We make it hard for others to love us.

Yet, hopefully, we also have individuals in our lives – family, friends – who love us in spite of it all.

If we do realize we have such individuals in our lives, then hopefully the realization also moves us toward gratitude, kindness and compassion.

I certainly hope it makes us realize the value of doing this for others – as much as possible, as often as possible, and to forgive ourselves when we fall short. And forgive others when they fall short.

Something I am grateful to have learned in life is that while sometimes it’s easy to think we’re too tired to give love, to act with compassion, to be kind, the reality is that it is way more tiring – exhausting, in fact – to be full of hate, anger, spite, rage. It is absolutely draining. Love can certainly be hard, but hate is harder.

Today I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to free yourself from one layer or tiny speck of anger, hate, frustration or resentment that you’ve been carrying around in relationship toward a person or situation. Remove that layer, or if a layer is too much to tackle right now, just brush a little speck off of your shoulder.

Then, try to replace that layer or speck with love, kindness, compassion – if not for the same person or situation that is a source of negativity, then for someone else or some other situation.

Trust me, it’ll feel good. In fact, it’s the fastest way I know of to lose 5 pounds, for that’s what it can feel like. (Sometimes if you dig really deep, it can feel like you’ve dropped 20.)

So, go ahead, give a little. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

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