Monday, June 17, 2013

Reality--It Is What It Is

Family sitting on log at beachReality--Not always fun.  Not always warm and fuzzy.  However, we cannot live in a fantasy world and the real world at the same time.  No relationship is perfect.  Why?  Because no person is perfect. It's almost like math.  Remember, a positive plus a positive equals a positive. A negative plus a negative equals a negative. One flawed person plus one flawed person equals one flawed relationship.

I am writing this on the tail of Father's Day because I watched the posts on Facebook all weekend.  Post after post read "To the best father in the whole world."  Everyone wants to believe that their father was the best, so what's the problem?  I know from personal experience that many of those who posted had very tumultuous relationships with their dad. Several cried--with good reason-- on my shoulder many times.  When the parent passed away those memories seemed to die with them. 

One friend had a father who was a good man, great church member, wonderful husband--but very contrary on some issues.  He was a very possessive man and his love of material possessions made his children feel less important.  When her father passed away, she forgot that pain and readily accepted the blame for any issue they faced as father and daughter. 

Let's write a hypothetical case to illustrate my point.
Reality--Daughter:  Dad, may I borrow the car tonight?
Dad:  Where are you going?
Daughter:  To the movies.
Dad:  With who?
Daughter:  With Molly and Sue.
Dad:  What movie are you going to see?
Daughter: Dad, what does that have to do with borrowing the car?
Dad:  I don't want someone to see my car outside the movie theater where they are showing something inappropriate.
Daughter:  Dad, I promise it is an appropriate movie.
Dad:  I don't want the car parked too close to other vehicles.
Daughter:  I'll be careful parking.
Dad:  Make sure you park straight so the person next to you doesn't scratch my car when they drive off.
Daughter:  Yes, Dad.
Dad:  And don't be eating or drinking anything in my car.  You always make a mess and then I have clean it up.
Daughter:  Yes, Dad.
Dad:  I don't want you playing the radio.  You turn it up so loud, I'm afraid it's going to blow the speakers out.
Daughter:  Yes, Dad.
Dad:  And by the way, who is paying for this?
Etc., etc, etc.

After the father's death, the daughter remembers it like this:
Fantasy:  Daughter:  Dad, may I borrow the car?
Dad:  Of course you can, Sweetheart.  I want you to have everything your little heart desires.  You are the most important thing in the world to me.  Here are the keys to the car, money for the movies, and spending money for after the show.  In fact, why don't you treat your friends.  Take this extra money for them.  Is there anything else you need?

While struggling to accept the death, daughter says to friend:  My dad was the best dad ever.  He always made me feel like I was the most important person to him.  Any disagreement we had was completely my fault.

I have seen posts from friends who I know were abused. I am not suggesting they post that.  Wouldn't that be something?  'Happy Father's Day to the jerk who raised me.'  No, no one wants to post that.  However, believing the other person was perfect is not healthy for anyone.

It is important that we love others for who they are rather than who we wish they were.  Unconditional love is love that accepts the other person just as they are.  God loves us just as we are.  Before He sent his son to die, He knew our sins and loved us anyway.  The bible is full of men and women who did deplorable things, but walked with God. They weren't perfect and neither are we.  We are just sinners saved by grace.  Reality--it is what it is.

None of us are perfect.  We are who we are.  We want to be loved for who we are and who we aren't. 

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