What is “Mother’s Day” really about?

Picture: Svenja Plaas

Mother’s Day just passed… I bought some flowers for my mom and when I saw her, I threw some words where she was standing, “Happy Mother’s Day Mom”, as my own baby startet crying at the very moment. The thrown words came from my heart, no question, but not even touching, what I wanted to say.

I guess, it’s a little bit the same for all the facebook-posts or tweets or funny exclamations of love for the moms around the world, you could read on that day or if people missed it, one day later. People try to thank their moms on that medium. That was, when I started wondering, if their moms even follow, to know. Some send pictures, greetings, even songs on facebook, but for a lot of them, I know, their moms are not even on facebook or know how to use internet well. So what is it about? Are we supposed to klick “like”?

Is it about a narcissistic selfie or the funny – “I remember, I have a mom?” I am really trying to find the fragment of love here. If I imagine my own children posting about me in maybe ten years, I would love to tell them: “Pls, come and tell me, if it’s me, you want to say thank you.” Don’t get me wrong, I am using facebook too and I love posting about things, going on in daily life, but for mother’s day it got me somehow angry.

Why? Maybe because being a mom is not a job, you could ever quit – even when your children are grown. You don’t get payed, you don’ get awards, well you also don’t get fired – all you get – and that is wonderful – is the love you share with your children…. this love includes the being beaten, when you change cloth, the fighting, when you say “no”, the crying nights you sit next to you baby (also sometimes grown up ones) to make it sleep, the fear and happyness for any step your baby takes, the sicknesses you go through… and many more things.

The fact is, you can’t really say thank you for something like that. You did not choose to be your mother’s child and you had very little influence on her being your mom. (At least in the first years) Though you could appreciate what your mother maybe did, what you liked or that she decided to be your mom. I know my own words did not get close to what I would have loved to tell my mom at the very moment. And I would say, like I do for a lot of such days (woman’s day, lover’s day also called valentines day, …) that there should not be a need for such, because you need to appreciate woman or your partner not just once a year, but all days of a year. Concerning mother’s day, it’s somehow special, as we forget easily, that mother’s (and i don’t want to exclude the fathers taking the role of mothers) raise our children, the grown ones of tomorrow. So even just telling my mom thank you, is something what seems funny to me. Why just thanking our own mom and not also our wives or girlfriends and sisters for raising our babies, for caring and giving birth to our babies. Let’s not forget about the moms, who maybe never gave birth, but are still moms, as they decided to take over responsibility for children. Why are man mostly thanking their mother’s, but barely mention the work their women do to raise the own children?

Mother’s day in first place could be a day, where we appreciate especially our mom, but I think and give my big thank you also, to all the mother’s who are trying their best, to raise a child, wether it’s a male or a female mother, a biological or non biological one, wether it’s your grandmother or maybe your aunty!

No Summary

What is mother’s day about? Tell me, where you see the fragment of love. 

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BreakDown as a break up from being down!

What we imagine one of the most beautiful moments in our lives, sometimes turn to be the most difficult and challenging ones. Why? Because our expectations have been high for those moments, they have been very different to the final outcome… These moments are not necessarily bad or terrible, just that we missed the beauty as we waited for a different shine to show up.

When I gave birth to my daughter, I thought I had barely no expectations. It was not my first child, so I knew already that you don’t know what is coming. The following weeks showed me, that I was actually full with them. Two weeks after birth, I had a total break down, which clearly uncovered one expectation after another. First of all, I had expectations for the birth itself, for the first two weeks after, for the following time after, I expected form my partner different work plans than he finally followed, I expected from my family different way of support, than I got… It was just too much for this first weeks.

All this got me totally to my limits and ended up in a break down. After some months now, I can look back and say, that my expectations were bringing me down, but it helped me in a lot of things, to break and get myself back on my feet. Why? Because in this moment of breakdown, I was forced to have a break from diplomacy. I stopped trying to always understand the other side and hold back, what I needed or wanted or just wished for myself, especially in my family. I expected this already as a normal behaviour from my surrounding, but I was just confronted with the opposite after birth.

The break down gave me the chance to be completely naked, wether I liked it or not, in front of the people, who are close to me. Love me and just accept the person I am or leave. For sure I was told: “What happened?” and “when will you be back on your strength”… meanwhile I told them: “I will be, when I am ready”, not when they want or need me to be.

Sometimes, I think my daughter finally forced me to stand up for myself – especially in my family. As loud as she is asking for love, food or care, I had to ask for my own needs. And it’s something I want to teach my kids as well, so if I might not have been able to do this consequently enough before, now I know how to do… Thank u my dear.

Summary:

Our most frustrating moments teach us a lot about ourselves. Just go back, watch, understand and take something out for yourself. And than leave the moment as a memory behind, don’t dwell on it and stay. 

 

The traces of love, we leave behind…

“Das einzige Wichtige im Leben sind die Spuren der Liebe, die wir hinterlassen, wenn wir gehen.” Albert Schweizer

“The most important thing in life are the traces of love, that we leave behind when we go.” Albert Schweizer

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What a beautiful and komplex quotation form a person, who was not just a brilliant genius but also a human being with a lot of life-philosophy to share.

The fragment of love reflects in all the small things we do and most of all in those which we do with love. My heart beats the very moment, I can engage people in thinking about life, love and theirselves. Too often our minds are just inside the box, which is well build by society, but finding ways to think out of the box, is where my heartbeat gets faster. Teaching students to believe in theirselves to choose that way of thinking, teaching people and force them to leave the comfort zone at least once, trying to push people beyond their limits, to face a new level – is my love I share. It also reflects in my writing and my photographs.

I guess people surrounding me and which I love the most, suffer from that kind of love I give. Once in a while maybe they hate it. I normally chase away strangers with this attitude, lovely are the once who stay.

Now I like to know:

What is your trace of love you leave behind, when you go?

When does your heart beat gets faster and long nights could come?

 

Looking for the fragment in daily life…

I lately read a blogpost that talked about “daily life” as the real spiritual way of life. The post said, that building structures for your life, which you keep for every day, is the true way of building your life.

That post really hit me, as I was always someone running away from routines, from daily life structures that come again – as one day is like the others. I considered routines even as the killing factor for love and relationship. I kept myself always busy to make something new, something different, to change, to create, to break out, to run away …

In deed, I still think routine could kill me or love, but not routine which is a structure in life. Routines, that fix us, like a photo become dangerous. The daily life should always stay open for changes, in case they come. However the routines work for us, why not.

I think, what I actually ran away from, was myself. I have been afraid of that I could not be enough, wether for myself nor for my love. Changing always, trying something new gives new challenges and new perspectives – but it was all a hiding from “I could get to boring” to myself or the person loving me.

Creating a daily life might not be a fragment of love, but it is a permanent shining of love. Building such a routine is a good sign, that you not just love the first exciting things, but the heart and the soul of your partner. You choose yourself which elements you keep, as you love doing them or which have to be changed. Why should you not jump out of the bed to have a coffee and find out about your favorite news first or why not jumping out of the bed and run for the work you love, before breakfast?

Love does not become boring, because you constructed your own house, where the two of you are comfortable – but love got a place to grow and spread its energy.

Summary: 

Build your routine, choose carefully and start loving it! 🙂

Your love is my love…

Sometimes you have one of these days: Everything goes wrong, your colleague has to point out today what you don’t need to hear and a person on the street needs to disturb your fragil freedom, you don’t come home today, because you are out for work – though you want to come home badly and just close the door.

The only people I let close to me at those days is my family, my love. I just need a place, where I can be exactly like I feel after closing the door. For sure, these days when I can’t come home and try to call my love, I don’t get through because there is a network problem or he is busy and doesn’t pick the phone. I won’t continue to write, how that kind of days normally end… I just leave it to you.

… The days he is picking or I get through, I just love him for standing me the way I am and listening to all the small, small things I need to complain about. Telling him any little injustice which made that day to one of those days. You know your love is a good choice, if he is somebody who treats you exactly the way you need to be treated, to get back on your feet. For some people it might be a hard treatment: “Stop crying. Don’t let it get to you!” for some it might be the very nice comforting way: “My love, I understand. Tomorrow the day will be better, baby…”. It doesn’t matter how you need it, but that there are people who know what to do. And this people are real treasures. So keep them around, but don’t just call them when you are down. 😉

Summary:

Love is not just the big movie and romance you find in Hollywood. Love is also part of daily life. Love is not just the good days, but also the arms which hide you from the world, the day you feel like hiding from the world. If you found that pair of arms, you are one of the lucky ones. And it doesn’t have to be necessarily your love. Sometimes it’s your mum, your baby, your sister or brother or a very good person around you…

It’s worth to stay…

I hold on to the things I believe in, my faith, your love, our freedom.

Our society is determined by innovation, by the latest trends, by the day after tomorrow… Sometimes we loose the focus, because everybody and everything tries to catch our eye. Things are created the way, that you can’t stay satisfied for long, without going for the next thing. I refuse to always run for the next thing, just because the one I have, is a little old already or uncomfortable for the moment.

It’s not easy to stay on one thing, wether it’s love, relationship, your principles or your way of life. Very often the best advice from people is: “You should know what you want and how long you can take this.” … “You should know, what’s best for yourself!” … “Don’t forget about yourself.” This is not enough.

Difficult times always come in life. Difficult times always come in relationship. And I am not talking about the difficulties between two people (but it also could be that), but the one coming from outside. Times where you have to hang on and know it will get better, just not right now. Myself-therapy is to talk about it with friends. I need to share to get rid of negativ feelings and ideas. Unfortunately a lot of times I just get this kind of advices, which point out, that I should not stand the situation, but change it or drop it. Mostly I get quiet, as for me: It’s worth to stay. That means, you can’t always just decide what’s best for yourself. It’s not always about the very moment, but about a longer distance you have to endure. To hang on is also an effort, which is not easy to do.

I learned in Cameroon that it’s worth to stay, though you don’t know when things get better. Till now, it always was worth staying. Seeing people running restless from one new thing to another, playing the same games again and again, wasting energy on the never ending story… I just can be cool about it, because I compare for myself what I create with exactly that energy. And it’s beautiful. I see what I can get back from it and I just know: It’s worth to stay.

Summary:

Point out for yourself, what you want. Don’t let the outside come to your heart and determine you to change or to go and catch the next thing. Have faith, that holding on to something will pay in future times. You don’t need to think about a better option or the non plus ultra – just because everybody else does. Stay focused on what your life and love is really about. 

 

Like a bird and the wind

What picture do you have in mind, when you think about your love? Maybe a growing flower, a tree full of fruits, a thunderous river, a fragil heart…

I always think about a bird, which enjoys his covey a the very moment. It’s a sunny day, small good-weather clouds are there, but not disturbing the birds direction. The bird is beautiful and happy for the very moment, not chased, not chasing – just being. At the same moment there is wind surrounding the bird. The wind is the other component of the relationship. And at this very beautiful day the wind is taking the same direction like the bird. It’s strength is supporting the upswing of the bird and makes the covey easy and unique. Very important is the fact, that both are not depending on each other, but they are part of the one fragment of love and make it grow. The bird at the same moment is not an obstacle to the wind… We could continue to draw that picture… same direction… same moment… different experiences… powerful fragment of love…

Summary:

Create your own idea of love and partnership, but don’t fix it to hold it tight. Let it be an always changing picture of the love you carry inside yourself.

Love is a creating power!

 

„Love is the shaping of the chaos. Eros is the power to create beauty out of the unformed material.“ Plato freely translated.

(Ficino Marsilio: De amore. 2004, p. 23)

Plato describes love as the light, which turns the chaos to God as the good power. The chaos is turning into shapes and beauty is created by the good power of love. The classical (european) example: The sculptor is working on an unformed rock. He or she is creating beauty in forming the rock to a sculpture.

Another example which I really love… Imagine all the instruments, melodies and possibilities of creating a song. Imagine all the sounds and influences, voices and texts you could put in one song. Our Artist would be the one forming power in this example. Full of love for music or for somebody he could create a song out of all this, which is pure beauty. It’s this kind of song which is playing endlessly in your playlist. It’s that kind of song which is moving something inside your heart, which could make you cry, which you maybe share with one loved person, which brings you in just one second a lot of good memories or makes you feel love for your love – the very moment you are listening to the song. You have such a song, right? I have a lot. And it’s a wonderful fragment of love in my life.

Create something between you and a person you love. It overcomes any distance as it’s one thing you share.

Summary:

Share your love in creating beauty out of the chaos. It’s completely up to you, how to creat, just try to feel the love in your creation.

Sweet memories

“Loving can hurt

You know it can hurt sometimes (…)

You know it can get hard sometimes”

Ed Sheeran  “Photograph”

Ed Sheeran is talking not about the feeling of a first love or of falling in love, but about the reality in a serious relationship. Sometimes love hurts… when you are separated for too long, when you fight, when you have hard times. Somehow you survive, sometimes you don’t.

Challenges in a love between cultures can be as simple as in any other relationship: distance, to bring two lives together, having your first baby or some annoying people to disturb your love, facing yourself and so on…

How to get through this hard times: Photographs helped me through the times of separation (two years in whole). I had one wall for just myself in my sleeping room with a lot of pictures of good memories. All of them showing small moments from the good times with my love. Sometimes I talked to them in the morning, sometimes I took them to bed, sometimes I just remembered the whole moment around this one shot, once in a while I shared my day with them. People may call me insane talking to a piece of colored paper, but who cares as long as it gives you strength to overcome hard times.

I guess, this is what Ed Sheeran is talking about, too.

“It’s the only thing that makes us feel alive.

So you can keep me inside the pocked of your ripped jeans…”

Summary: 

Do whatever makes you feel good. Don’t forget the good moments when it gets hard. Keep a smile around you, if it is on a picture or in the face of your love – it will help you, when hard times come. 

Racism and Love?

„The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; i did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried the will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being to sensitive.“ 

(Adichie: Americanah 2013, p. 290)

Adichie is describing love between two human beings, between an American and a Nigerian, between a black and a white person, between a man and a woman, between people from two different cultures. Her point of few is the Nigerian girl in America.

Your origin is a topic, especially when you are obviously from different cultures. (That means people see it with their eyes!) The quotation says very well, that the topic might not matter between the lovers as long as they are alone, but the moment you step out, it becomes an issue. Wether we are in Cameroon or in Germany, with friends or family, at work or in the neighborhood – the topic is there. People have cliches in their minds, people are interested in your story, people heard something about “such” couples, people are happy to see something different, people like to gossip, people like to share.

Being from two obvious different cultures gives you sometimes more possibilities to define yourselves and your love, sometimes it demands a lot of strength to keep racism outside of your emotional sphere.

Positiv is…

A lot of people don’t measure your relationship and judge as they do with others. Because they don’t know what is normal or strange for your situation.

Family just observes first, to get to know the new member. You are not necessarily forced into same traditional rituals and if you miss a nice gesture, probably you didn’t know about it. That’s the good case. If you have your family behind you, you are already an a good way…

You really get into another culture. It’s not just a visit to a new place, but if you open up you will be invited to enter the other culture. And than you should also talk about the things, which piss you off.

Negativ:

Already in bureaucracy you meet a lot of problems. A Cameroonian needs a visa for Germany, which is not as easy to get as a Visa for Cameroon. While I just need to send my documents and for sure I have to pay the visa, my love has to fill in a lot of documents, fight for a date to apply for the visa, he has to feel that he is not really wanted in our country and that he will be considered as a suspect from the moment he crosses the border.

Sometimes when he comes to Germany people ask him, if they can send something to his family like cloths or drugs. They don’t mean to be rude, but it is. It’s the only idea a lot of people have about Africans, that they are poor.

It gets really dirty, when people approach you with the prejudices: You are just a couple because of the papers for Europe. The white person brings the money and gets sex. Actually I read once that about 80% of marriages in Europe are motivated by the financial aspect. And I mean white-white couples.

 

Summary: 

Don’t let it get to you! Don’t let it get between you! Talk about your feelings, even the littlest feeling! Don’t attack your partner!

Talk to each other and talk to people about how it feels. In my eyes, there is no other way to overcome the cliches and prejudices which come with such a love. However it should never rule your relationship.