Too Much Love

Detail from Reading Quilt

From childhood I was taught that if you have  fun you have to suffer afterward.

My grandmother’s favorite story was about the man who retired and the next day he died.  She would tell a different version of this  story again and again, until my sister and I eventually made a game of it.  We would tell each other stories ,mimicking my grandmothers Italian accent, about people who  finally got what they wanted in life and then died immediately.  Needless to say, if this is what you believe, you’re not going to want anything too good to happen.   Later in life, If I were going on vacation and the car broke down I would be relieved that “the bad thing” had happened and I had survived it.

So a few years ago  I  began to change my life and lots of good things started to happen.  In the beginning it was still difficult enough for me to feel safe with the balance of good and bad.  But as time passed, the good stuff started to outweigh the bad.  When I felt “too” good, I repeated my mantra, “That’s Grandma’s story, not mine, I don’t believe it anymore.”  Then  I  would knock on wood and wait for the catastrophe to happen.

Recently I heard the idea, that joy actually brings more joy.  That the best thing we could do for ourselves and others is fill ourselves up with love which will radiate and expand to those around us.  That we can trust the good stuff and can’t have too much of it.   This doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, it just means that good doesn’t bring about bad.

So this morning, as I was beginning to get scared, because it felt like life was just too good, I thought of accepting the good the same way I accepted the difficult.  And with a little help,  decided to trust that joy does bring more joy and there can’t be too much love.

Reading Quilt pieced together

17 thoughts on “Too Much Love

  1. Maria: Our grandmothers must have been cut from the same ‘cloth’, as they say. Why did they always make us so aware of the ‘bad’? Life is what you make it and I say make it as good as you can.
    I love your sketches, both with pencil and thread. I am sure the thoughts of the show at the farm are busy moving about in your mind. Good luck with all the preparations. Peg

  2. What a touching blog this is Maria.(I’m telling you,there’s a writer inside you that’s showing it’s colors!) I so identify with your feelings. And have been shown now over and over that there can never be too much love. It’s a gift that we are worthy to accept without reservations.
    The fabrics here are perfect for the reading chair.Such a cozy quilt.
    My woodstove is going and it’s toasty here!
    We’re taking a roadtrip to Florida at 4am this morning! Yay!! And we deserve it!
    Enjoy your show on April 1st. You sound very happy!

  3. Hi Maria – your comments about being afraid because life was just too good – and your Grandmother’s scary ideas – that was my childhood “Rita” – she’s saying “Bye” to all that: waiting for the other shoe to drop! The biggest shoe dropped on me in the spring & summer of 2007 when my husband spent 5 weeks on life support at Albany Medical Center. But guess what he beat the odds. He’s still here ,Ray, my artist. There’s a famous saying “This too shall pass”. Iv’e learned to use that idea NOT just for the bad things in life, BUT also for the good. So when the really good things are happening for me, I tell myself to hold them close and suck every once of goodness out of them – just like I always used to do with the bad stuff, The bad stuff, when it comes, because Life is Life, well, the bad stuff I take “One Dat at a Time” . A soul sister, Mary Rita Scott

  4. That reminds me of the fear message I was taught, “if you’re not careful, you’ll fall.” Yours is like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s a wonder we made it to adulthood with all these fear messages floating around in our heads. I think you’ve found out yours isn’t true. Mine can only be true sometimes.

  5. Amazing. I was raised to believe if something good happened you would have to “pay for it” with something bad. You are right Maria, I never realized it before. Thank you

  6. After meeting you, I could see what joy and love you bring to what you do. These make you who you are and yes, we should accept the joy just because it is.

    This quilt is just exceptional! Great idea and color. I assume there is a cat waiting on the chair for the reader’s lap ?

  7. ….”trust that joy does bring more joy and there can’t be too much love.” Amen. A lovely new mantra.

  8. To this day, my mom still says, “You shouldn’t be too happy….” It has taken me decades of my life to wrest myself from that core belief. The best I can do now is to remember what my mother-in-law used to say: “Good isn’t forever; bad isn’t forever.” Don’t know why so many of that generation lived under that fear of being joyful. By the way, you can’t see me but I am curled up in that cozy armchair by the fire with a cup of tea. Lovely quilt!

  9. Maria, love your comments today on joy, wish I lived nearby and could visit your upcoming art show, maybe someday!

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