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metroMagazIne • The Spirit of Omaha


dad’s heart

by mary e. vandenack

more love in your life “ When we make the choice to fill our heart space with unconditional love, our worlds blossom into a beauty far greater than we have known.” ~ RIO GODFREY imagine What it Would feel like to be truly unconditionally loved – just as you are - Without any requirement that you do or be other than exactly that. What Would total and complete acceptance feel like?

shaped a box of love

“ We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” ~ THICH NHAT HANH by “mulberry lane” valentine’s day Was alWays a mixed candy bag of emotions, groWing up in a family of all girls.

What would it feel like to be loved despite your occasional slip of the tongue or failure to have every hair in place? if you have ever experienced this type of love, even for a moment, you know what a special experience it is. We all crave this type of love and spend a lot of time and energy seeking it. there are a couple obstacles to finding unconditional love. often, we are looking for it outside of ourselves. if we do have the wisdom to look for it within, we may find ourselves incapable of looking in the mirror and giving ourselves unconditional love and acceptance? if we can’t love and accept ourselves, how can we expect others too? (sometimes our moms do! i know mine does!) the path to greater self acceptance, self love, and openness to receiving love includes simply creating more love in your world wherever you are. Practice kindness. Give compassion. Be authentic. Find joyfulness.

Would the boyfriend of one sister send a dozen roses and chocolates? Would the bf of the sister on the verge of a breakup send anything at all? Would the sister casually dating 3 different guys get 3 different deliveries? Would the middle school crush of one sister reciprocate the feelings? Would there be any surprises? ah, you could feel the anticipation and intrigue rising in the air in our white brick house on mulberry lane. every time the doorbell rang, sisters would fly to the door wondering who the delivery was for, who it was from, and what was it? inevitably, one sister would be left walking on rose-scented air – while another was left disappointed, but still trying to feign happiness for her elated sister. But there was one thing we sisters could always count on. Dad. he never failed to get each of us a big heart shaped box of chocolates and would send mom a dozen roses and a dozen for each daughter. so... if your bf turned out to be a no show in the romance department, or if you had just had a breakup, or no love interest at all – no one was left feeling unloved. but now we’re all grown up – some of us married romantic types and some of us came up a little short in that department. that’s okay. With life marching on... difficult pregnancies, miscarriages, roller coaster career changes, and the ups and downs of raising kids, somehow the unspoken sister competition for roses and chocolates seems like a distant (and yes, frivolous) memory. but yet we can’t help but think back fondly on those carefree flying-tothe-doorbell days at times; oh, things were so much simpler then, yet we thought they were so complicated.

start creating love by focusing on self acceptance. change your self talk. notice when you are calling yourself a loser and rephrase the comment. make peace with your gray hair, your bony elbow, your prominent mole, or whatever you tend to wish away. if you need to lose ten pounds, calling yourself a pig is unlikely to help get the weight off. instead, subtract some stress from your life. make time for whatever you need that nurtures you and moves you to the mental place that results in weight dropping readily. in personal relationships, consider giving more often without a price tag. also be very aware of making conscious choices about what you do. often, relationships work like this: “i will do x for you if you do y for me.” as long as both cooperate, each gets what he or she is seeking. if one gets tired of doing x or y, it becomes a burden, results in resentment, and can sabotage the relationship. take really good care of yourself, both in and out of relationships. if you do, you will be less needy and more likely to give, and thus receive, without conditions. spread more love and joy wherever you go. on christmas day of 2012, i heard many stories of kindnesses, both big and small. i shared those at a christmas dinner with friends. one of my friends said “What would it look like if we could really keep that spirit and energy going all day long and all year long?”

There is one thing that remains the same from that time, though. Dad. he still delivers his valentines to each of us. and that delivery, when you happen to look out your kitchen window and spot dad walking up to your front door, carrying your heartshaped box of chocolates in his steadfast hands – that is something that is more dear to each of us every year. unwavering and unconditional love. and now, he even brings a box of chocolates for each of our kids, as well. so i guess the point is, if you find yourself without that romantic attachment right now that you might be craving – valentine’s day can still be just as much about that sustaining love – whether from a dad, mom, son, daughter, friend, teacher, mentor, or sister. the kind of love we should stop, acknowledge, appreciate, and feel especially blessed by, for that kind of love can be just as important and maybe even longer lasting than the romantic kind.

carry the spirit of compassion more often and the armor of anger less often. practice compassion with strangers. practice compassion with those who care about you. and most importantly, perfect the art of compassion for yourself. in giving yourself love and compassion, you will find yourself receiving more of it elsewhere without so much effort.

you can hear “the mulberry lane show,” a music, arts, and lifestyle talk show every saturday morning on the mighty 1290 koil from 10am – noon, brought to you by elisa ilana jewelry. visit

Mary Vandenack, while a lawyer by profession, has studied extensively in mind/body areas of fitness and wellness. She is Yoga Alliance RYT-200, Power Pilates certified and ACE certified. 23

metroMagazIne • FeB 2013

metroMAGAZINE's February 2013 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's February 2013 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council...

metroMAGAZINE's February 2013 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's February 2013 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council...