I usually write about your world, or my world…the small worlds that revolve between the four walls we call “home”. But today, if you don’t mind, I’d like to draw a line between WifeSavers principles and what’s going on in OUR world, the world we share, the great BIG world.
A meme I saw on FB this morning disturbed and dismayed me (as a lot of memes do these days). This one captures, I think, a lot of why Disneyland’s sweet song, “It’s a Small World”, feels more and more obsolete.
Check it out:
I never cared if you were gay until…
I never cared what color you were until…
I never cared about your political affiliation until…
I never cared where you were born until…
I never cared if you were well off or poor until…
I never cared if your beliefs were different than mine until…
If I’ve learned anything in my years of work helping women reclaim or beautify their relationships, it is this:
When a human being’s (or beingS’) basic human needs for connection, understanding, dignity, and validation–even BELONGING–feel chronically unmet, a sense of desperation sets in that eventually drives that person to act out on that desperation.
The manifestation of the neglect and despair they feel is usually not very pretty because by the time desperation sets in, so has anger, frustration, or resentment.
Think of the times you’ve made a less-than-flattering bid for attention from your husband or he has from you, or even more clearly, how children act out when all they really want is acknowledgement and emotional connection.
The statement, “Now, I care” is exactly what the desperate bidder is seeking.
Maybe then, just as we would try to get to the bottom of a loved one’s need after a cry for attention this way, asking questions would be more effective than making confrontational statements.
For instance, we could ask (as I recently noted that a student — who is white — asked of her friends — who are black — via her FB account):
- What is it that you need, or are looking for?
- How can I help meet that need?
- Help me understand: What is it that I may have done (knowingly or unknowingly) that has contributed to your sense of desperation, fear, sadness, or anger?
In the case of the disheartening meme, the answer to that last question would probably be something like…
“You never cared.”
As you well know, there is a higher law beyond Tolerance, and even beyond Respect that will save this world… the ONLY law that will save ALL our troubled relationships.
It is the same law we aspire to live by in the WifeSavers Course and Community.
It is, of course, LOVE.
LOVE is such a grandiose, ethereal ideal, I had to come up with a more concrete definition in my writing and teaching so that the concept feels more DOABLE. I’ve shared it with you before. Here it is:
Love is the medium through which VALUE is conveyed.
And that, dear friend, is all that the person who is gay, or black, or brown, or white, or liberal, or conservative, or born outside your country, or poverty-stricken, or disabled, or of a different faith or no faith, is asking for, or demonstrating for, or petitioning for, or lobbying for in whatever way is available to them: TO BE HEARD, TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED, TO BE VALUED.
In the name of peace and progress, just as we do in our home-centered relationships, let’s all open our hearts to people in general AND open our minds as to WHY they are taking the position they are. As you well know from your own experience, your spiritual living, and your study with me, lowering the drawbridge is the only way this human FAMILY is going to be able to stay intact; the only way we will get beyond so much pain, so much blame, so much hurt, so much division.
I welcome your thoughts below.
And to tune-up your related WifeSavers skills and principles, tune into these or other WifeSavers Podcast episodes:
To Transform Your Marriage, Focus on This
When Faith is an Issue in Your Marriage
5 LIES WE TELL BRIDES
AND THE 5 TRUTHS THAT SAVE WIVES
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Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Ramona! You put it so beautifully. Your words are healing and helpful at a time of so many harsh and harmful ones.
That’s very kind, Amy! THANK YOU!
Wow, thank you for sharing that! I read the meme and immediately connected, and wondered what was wrong with that. Then I read your response. You could have hit me over the head with a frying pan because the message was so clear. Thank you for allowing me the grace to shift my perspective and work on being a better person, across the board!
Wow, Brandy! That’s amazing – YOU’RE amazing to be so open to listening to a different POV. I’m impressed. Thank you for telling me that. xo
I have one word for this, powerful. What better example is that of “love”. Our divine Trinity is all about that. They are the purest example of love. Your spot on insight into this idea is wonderful. It brought a tear and made me instantly connect with you and with what our world is going through right now. I have and will always look up to you. You have helped me in my journey to make my marriage so much better by helping me get out my own way. Love is what the whole world needs now to get out of its own way. I pray this happens very soon. The song, what the world needs now is love sweet love, echoes in my heart. I love you Ramona. Stay blessed for all time.
“Love is what the whole world needs now to get out of its own way.” So true, Kathryn. As human beings and as a society, we tend to allow so much of our personal pain and experience to influence how we see or allow others “to be” who they are and express what they need; not much different than we do in our own families. It’s hard, and not natural, I suppose, to step down off our own throne and invite someone else to sit there for a minute and explain themselves. 🙂 Thank you for your love and support. It means the world to me. xo
I totally understand Brandy…just after start reading your words Ramona I start to understand the real struggle… you have the gift to heal wounded souls and brighten the mind with your wise words. Your book Wife for Life was one of those books that changed me as a person and specially as wife. Because of what you teach I could learn how to be a better wife and how to better serve my family. The crazy lady inside of me was able to find peace and understanding. Love what you do.
That means so much, Patricia. Thank you for taking the time to let me know! xo