Warning it's getting personal again!
Unconditional love. I hope by the way that you both are loved by your parents that you understand this love deeply. It's the hardest thing I have ever learned. Unconditional love is at it's most beautiful when extended to those undeserving or to those you don't feel love toward.
There are people in my life, I surely do not "feel" I "love". These are people who have hurt me, frustrated me, lied to me, and put me in a place of anger most especially. It is in these moments that I have to remind myself that I must extend love and respect with purpose, against what I may feel.
The struggle with this is that the immediate reaction is then to stuff it down. That is counterproductive. I'm learning more and more that I have to acknowledge how I feel and then move from it. You cannot change people and people will always let you down.
So, when people fail you, make you angry, or wound you, how then do you react? There's a temptation to call out their behavior, to judge them, and gain the satisfaction of being right. It's really hard to give up being right. I personally, really like being right. Unconditional love, allows others to be in the wrong and to be given the grace to be wrong.
This does not negate times when in love, poor behavior must be addressed. However, there is a time and place for this and with some people you simply will not. I know, I know, there are many people who "tell it like it is". Good for them. I ask that you learn the grace and wisdom to know when to say things in love and when to simply allow grace to step in where you feel anger.
You're not a doormat, you don't have to "take" anything inappropriate. Grace is all in your response. I will be candid, I get very angry when people try to manipulate me, lie to me, or play games with me. I get really frustrated, I want to call "bullshit".
When these moments happen, I remind myself that I most certainly in my life have done one and all of those things. If it is not affecting the health or safety of my family, my lively hood, and is only just an irritant, then I move on. It's not easy, those little irritations add up if I let them. I would rather be a person who extends grace then someone who doesn't. If I cannot extend grace, how can I expect to receive it?
So, in those moments when the temporary emotion is that I want to be really really pissed off, get my validation from others, and call bullshit. These are those "Jar of Bees" moments when things are chaotic and I feel like I'm losing my grip. I remember all of this. I hope you can learn this. It is very hard and you have to relearn it all the time, and sometimes you will make mistakes, that is where accepting the grace of others comes in. It's a circular thing.
Note: I thought I should add, since obviously my kids can't read my blog that I keep journals to both of the boys. They're similar to scrapbooks, they contain photos and little mementos but they are primarily letters. I hope to give these to them in their teens. I take the letters written here and paste them in. It's neat looking back.