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Are You Selfish?

新概念美文欣赏——Are You Selfish?-外语-


 

  My daddy, who died a few years ago, was probably the least selfish man I ever met or probably will ever meet. Sometimes I wonder how I am going to make it through my marriage. I am so mad, or so disgusted or feel so put out or whatever. I do this a lot… After all I am not perfect by a long shot…I have been married to the same man for 29 years and believe me, he is definitely not perfect either. Either you will say I am stupid or that I must know something that works. Well, there are times I am stupid, but I have learned a couple things in 29 years. The first thing I wanted to share is that I remember having a wonderfully liberating revelation - the fact that we both came to realize that no matter how upset we were or how often we disagreed, we would rely on the fact that we did indeed love one another no matter what happened. Do you know how liberating that fact was???? What got in the way of this realization coming into existence a lot sooner in our marriage was our pride and our selfishness. Once we took that first step towards… “Okay, I’ll be the one to give in first… I still love you.” We opened a whole new window to fresh, clean air that forever changed our relationship and you can do it too!

  First, you need to do an exercise of sorts. Take out a pen and paper and write down all those things about your mate that you like and love. He is so sensitive to my needs at such and such a time… He truly makes our family laugh even in tough times…whatever. At the bottom of the list write in your own words… I will never stop loving----. Make a note of the date. Now, take that list and put it in a special and accessible place. Next, put this list in your brain and make it accessible there. Next time you become angry as you surely will…after a little while (you probably want to calm down, first) go to your mental list in your brain and proclamation of love forever. Re-affirm the proclamation and recall, most of the times when you were angry, you eventually got over it. Why? Because of your love and your willingness to use it as a safe harbor, a foundation. It would be helpful if you would share this whole procedure with your husband, your wife. I remember my husband and I (I believe I did initiate) having a talk about the fact that no matter what, we would continue to love one another… you try it. You both will feel so much better and more secure in your relationship.

  Back to Daddy… He took care of my mom after she got sick and she was not fun to be around. She accused him daily or hourly of things he had never done, but he cooked for her, cut up her apples in a special way, cleaned for her and took her on those never ending rids. He would say to her, “Helen, I could drive you to Chicago and turn around to go back to Pittsburgh and you would still say, ‘I don’t want to go home, yet.’” He gave and still loved, even at a time when it was definitely an one-sided affair. I want to practice love like that. I’m not that close, but I can see the value of standing on the “I will never stop loving----.” Proclamation. I know you can probably see the value of such a declaration too.

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