As many of you know, the last year has had a lot of ups and downs for me - (the short version follows:)
Up, up UP - the birth of another healthy, beautiful baby boy - the blessings of managing to keep our jobs in this awful economy, overall health, watching Dominic grow and learn and develop, and generally being really grateful for what we do have.
DOWN, down, down - my dad's death, a new baby who was really colicky and cried A LOT, some extremely difficult moments with my job, constantly fearing that Mike's job would be lost, Mike breaking his hip, juggling lots of changes and just adjusting to a household with two under 2... then more difficult moments with my job, and some frustrating personal stuff.
These ups & downs have left me feeling stuck in a sort of roller coaster for some time now - just sort of going with the ups and downs and not really having a clue how to get off of the ride or out of the amusement park! The problem with being in a roller coaster is that you don't have control - you don't have brakes or an escape or anything.
But last week, the most important person in my life did some things for me, because of me, that may seem small to others and small in the scheme of things, but helped me really "get it" that the toughest lesson to live is the simplest: truly treat others as you would have them treat you.
I was trying to live the advice I'd read in an article ( http://kyria.com/topics/marriagefamily/marriage/helphealing/onewayturnaround.html ) lately - "Someone has to choose to be everything their spouse needs them to be rather than yearning for their spouse to be everything they need." - and making tiny steps in that direction, but he's the one who legitimately did that and took the big steps.
Treating others as you would have them treat you sounds so simple, right?
And we've heard it so many times that it certainly shouldn't be earth shattering. But it kinda was for me, because if I'm going to be the kind of wife, mom, employee, colleague, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, church member, citizen, that I want to be, I need to be more intentional about doing that very thing - loving others as I love myself. With full recognition, of course, that the first commandment is even more important - Loving God with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Somehow, even though I know that I'll still have lots of ups and downs (that's just life), I feel like those kindnesses and that realization helped me get off the ride and even out of the park and back in control of my attitude - and to a position that allows me to be intentional.
If I get nothing else right in life, these are the things I want to do correctly: love God and love the people in my life with everything that I am... no matter the circumstances.