Do you remember that feeling when you first put on prescription glasses? How you immediately saw things differently. How you hadn't even realized how much you were missing.
I remember noticing that the leaves on the trees had different shapes and how beautiful they were.
My vision is so impaired that I could be considered legally blind. My eye doctor recently informed me of this fact. But because my vision is correctable I’m not technically legally blind.
Everyday I feel gratitude when I put in my contacts. They immediately change how I experience life. They correct my eyes. In an instant, I go from blurriness to clear vision. They give me the ability to see things for how they really are.
This is what it is like for parents of an LGBTQ child. When your child comes out your whole life changes in an instant.
Before my son came out I thought I knew how to love. I thought I loved others unconditionally. I was wrong. I didn’t even know how many blind spots I had until I became an LGBTQ mama.
When my son came out I wish I could tell you that the overall emotion I felt was love – it wasn’t – I had a lot of blind spots that needed to be corrected.
These blind spots caused me to feel a lot of negative emotions. A lot of hurt, fear and anger. None of these feelings felt anything close to how love feels.
These blind spots were coming from thoughts like: This is unfair. Something has gone wrong. This won’t end well. This is not how life should be. Why is this happening?
With my son coming out, the Lord had brought me into the classroom of learning how to correct my vision. I was going to learn what my personal blind spots. Until I faced these blind spots, I wouldn’t be able to love my son how he deserved to be loved - unconditionally.
Blind spots can be our thoughts, judgments and perceptions about others and ourselves.
It took me some time, but with the Lord's help I begun to conquer my blind spots. I learned to love in a way that wasn’t transactional.
I realized that in the past my ability to love others was more based on what they had done for me (the family I grew up in). My ability to love was how the other person made me feel (my husband). My ability to love was how someone received my love (raising my children).
I had to learn how to conquer my judgments about others and myself. I learned how to be more trusting of God’s love and plan.
These lessons have changed my life. They have been as dramatic to my heart as contacts have been for my vision. I see things clearer. I see what is important. I see what matters.
The best part of loving unconditionally was how I get to feel. Loving unconditionally is the best emotion to feel – it feels amazing.
To love unconditionally you:
· Love without strings attached.
· Offer love freely.
· Don’t base it on what someone does.
· Don’t base it on how they make you feel.
· Simply love them for them – for how God created them.
Learning to accept my son for who he is taught me the skill of loving someone for exactly the way God created them. This also gave me the gift of learning how the Savior loves me. Learning this enables you to truly connect with others.
“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment” - these are Brene Brown’s words, this is another definition of what unconditional love looks like.
What does loving people unconditionally look like in everyday life?
· It looks like when people get angry with you, you still have the ability to feel love for them and yourself.
· When people do something that you wouldn’t have done, you still have the ability to feel love for them and yourself.
· When someone mistreats you, you still have the ability to feel love for them and yourself.
As we celebrate the day of love I want to thank my son for giving me the opportunity to learn how to love better. His coming out redefined how we love each other in our family. His willingness to do hard things on this earth has changed our family for the better.
This is not unique to just our family’s story. If you want to learn how to love fierce and unconditionally, find an LGBTQ family and watch them.
Watch how these families show their love and support to their LGBTQ children. They love through the hard and they are some of the greatest examples of Christ-like love on this earth.
Learning how to love unconditionally is available to you. I have learned the steps of how to find your blind spots and I would love to teach them to you. As someone who has personally done these steps I know how life changing this process can be.