Welcome to Five-Minute Reflections! Approximately once per week I will post here a new quote, question, or idea for you to spend some time contemplating and/or journaling about. The goal is that by spending a few minutes thinking through these ideas, it may help you gain insight and perspective and help you identify your priorities and values as both a person and as a parent. Enjoy!
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
This reflection is about love and acceptance. Often, the messages we receive about love are that it is something that should be effortless; that love is a passive process and something that happens “to” us. We “fall” in love. However, in this quote, Mr. Rogers challenges this assumption and suggests that love is actually active and ongoing. The above quote infers that love is something that we have agency over and responsibility towards. He suggests that love requires acceptance and that this acceptance involves effort.
What are your thoughts on this? Is love active or passive? Is love the process, or the end result? Can you have love without total acceptance? What are the challenges to fully accepting someone as they are? Parents: Often our children are not who we expect them to be. How can you make space for this so that you are loving the child you have by accepting them for who they are?
I hope you enjoy the exercise. And as always, I welcome your feedback!
Spend approximately 5 minutes or more journaling or otherwise reflecting on this idea. Try not to control your thoughts- just write down the first things that come into your mind regarding the quote. There are no right or wrong answers. This is for your personal use only and can provide interesting insights into your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Pay attention to whatever arises and give it space to carry forward with you. The goal of this activity is to help you gain insight and perspective and help you identify your priorities and values as a person and as a parent. If you feel stuck, consider using some of the "Optional Reflection Prompts" below to help structure your thoughts.
Optional Reflection Prompts:
What is your immediate reaction to this quote?
What feelings does this quote bring up for you? Do those feelings change as you sit with it?
Does this quote bring to mind any specific experiences you have had? How can you learn from those experiences?
Is this quote something you agree with? Disagree with? Is it mixed?
Is this quote something you would like to carry with you? If so, what is one way you can incorporate it's sentiments into your day?
Disclaimer: This activity does not constitute therapy or other psychological treatment or service and participation does not constitute a client-therapist relationship. While these exercises may resonate with you, they are not tailored to your personal needs. If you would like to work with Dr. Cahalan and are located in New York State, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 670- 5628. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.