Monday, July 7, 2014

Daisy Petaling

Have you ever heard of daisy petaling? You haven't. I just made it up. I know because I googled it.

Daisy petaling is when you measure your relationship status by the other person's actions or lack thereof. It happens all the time. There's that one story where the girl says to her boyfriend, "We've been dating six months," and he doesn't say anything. While he's silent, she goes all haywire mentally, assumes he's not happy in the relationship, and quickly tells him, so she can be the one to say it first, that she thinks they need a little space from each other. But actually, his silence is caused by an attempt to mentally calculate how long it's been since he changed the oil in his car.

My tendency is to daisy petal my relationships. And not just my relationship with Jeff. All sorts of relationships. People from church, my neighbors, people at the kids' school, the Safeway cashier, the Target pharmacist, everyone. Everywhere I go, I find myself daisy petaling. He loves me, he loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not. They love me, they love me not. He wants me, he wants me not.

Jeff is of the opinion that every guy wants me. To him, I am very wantable. Which is incredibly sweet. I'm very glad he sees me that way. Aaaaaaaand I'm pretty sure he's dead wrong about the 'every guy' thing.

I mean, I haven't met every guy.

Just kidding.

I have a point.

The other day, I had a doctor appointment, and I hand't showered, so I scurried around trying to be presentable enough to go out in public. I explained to Jeff, "I'm trying to make sure I don't smell bad because I haven't showered and that's gross."

Jeff said playfully, "Good. Gross him out a little. Keep him from wanting you so much." (He wants me...)

My usual response is, "He doesn't want me. Don't be silly." (He wants me not...)

But this time, I surprised myself by saying, "It doesn't matter if he wants me or not. I choose you."

What a pleasant surprise. Mind you, I've been choosing Jeff these many years, but it was pleasant to discover that my choice is the thing that makes me secure in my marriage. Not Jeff's actions. I'm with Jeff because I choose Jeff. Not because Jeff wants me. Not because someone else doesn't want me. I'm here because this is where I choose to be. No daisy petaling required.

And then I saw. Aha! It's the same for all my relationships! It's always about my choice. It doesn't matter if she loves me or loves me not. I love her. It doesn't matter if he love me or loves me not. I love him. It doesn't matter if you love me or love me not. I love you.

It makes obvious sense when applied to my children. Of course it doesn't matter if they love me or love me not. I love them. DUH. No daisy petaling required.

But you know where else it makes obvious sense?

When you apply it to God.

God is not a daisy petaler. He doesn't measure my actions, fold his arms, and say, "She loves me, she loves me not." And I don't need to measure my actions, picture God folding his arms, and cringe, "He loves me? He loves me not?"

It doesn't work that way. It's not based on my actions. It's based on his choice.

He loves me.

He loves you.

No daisy petaling required.

So that's happy.

"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means of atonement for our sins." ~1 John 4:10